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Allegorical, 1984

Fred R. Parker

American, 1938-
Cliché-verre print with hand-applied copper colored pencil, Edition of 25, No. 3
Image: 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist
PH.2004.1.07
© Fred R. Parker

Not on view

Fred Parker’s contributions to the field of photography, particularly in California during the 1960s and 1970s, are considerable. He was the first curator of photography at the Pasadena Museum of Art (1969–1974) and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. He also served as the first director of the Friends of Photography in Carmel, an organization dedicated to the promotion of creative photography.

Parker is an artist in his own right, with an extensive background in painting, drawing and photography. This suite was produced through a combination of processes: the images, collected from various printed sources, were drawn freehand in pencil on transparent matte acetate, reversing the lights and darks. In the darkroom, he placed the drawing on photographic paper, exposed it to light and developed the print. The areas of light and dark were reversed again so that the resulting print (a cliché verre) was now a positive image—a photograph made without a camera. Each print was then meticulously overdrawn by hand with copper-colored pencil to give the tactile sense of soft fur.

Parker said of this portfolio: “I’m dealing with a visual, verbal and tactile combination… I’m building upon what I have experienced—that there are interesting relationships between words and images and feelings…where the imagination makes diverse and unexpected connections. Hopefully,
for the viewer, each print offers a multiplicity of personal meanings—not just mine.”


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