Robert Andrew Parker, Ein Deutsches Wörterbuch (A German Dictionary) (Cornwall, CT: Robert Andrew Parker, 2011). A./P. (artist’s proof). 28 hand colored plates unbound as issued and housed in a cardboard and wood box fabricated by the artist, with “Wörterbuch” stenciled on the cover. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process.
Robert Andrew Parker’s resume includes “hand double” in 1956 for Kirk Douglas’s Vincent van Gogh drawing and painting the art in Lust for Life. An accomplished jazz drummer, Parker not only performs but he wrote and illustrated a biography on jazz musician Art Tatum, Piano Starts Here.
Parker illustrated over 90 children’s books, poetry books, and literary classics. Princeton’s special collections holds around two dozen of these books, beginning with Marianne Moore (1887-1972), Eight poems, written by Marianne Moore; with drawings by Robert Andrew Parker hand-colored by the artist (New York: Museum of Modern Art, ). Edition: 195. Rare Books PS3525.O5616 A17 1962.
Our most recent acquisition is Parker’s German alphabet book, editioned in only 10 copies. An adult alphabet, each letter is matched with a German word and ominous image. T is for Toten Kopf-Husaren (Death’s Head Hussars), other letters hold suggestions of war and pain. In his Print magazine profile “Robert Andrew Parker on Life and Illustration,” Michael Dooley notes:
The German series, originally produced as monotypes in the mid-1980s, is part of Parker’s lifelong preoccupation with war. Born in 1927, he was already sketching combat scenes by the age of ten. And it was his pictures of imaginary battlefields, published in “Esquire” in 1960, that first brought him to national attention. —https://www.printmag.com/post/robert-andrew-parker-on-life-and-illustration
Parker is a prolific fine artist and illustrator, with work in hundreds of books and magazines, including the New Yorker, Life, and Forturne (above). Play the wonderful episode of Virtual Memories, no. 283 to hear an interview with Parker: