James Wingate Parr (1923-1969)

James Wingate Parr (1923-1969)

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, watercolorist James Wingate Parr received his art training at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts under William Jewell and at the nearby Vesper George School.  After completing his degree, he was called into service during World War II, where he traveled throughout France and Germany.  

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He made numerous sketches of the Bavarian Alps while abroad, mainly working with the easily transported medium of watercolor.  In 1945 his loyal teacher William Jewell entered three of these pieces into an exhibition of the Boston Society of Watercolor Painters held at Vose Galleries.  Parr’s work was extremely well received by their Boston clientele, and the gallery sold two of the three works that were submitted.   Robert C. Vose was greatly impressed by the young man’s ability and remarked:  “He is now only 24 years old, and we feel that his work shows ability seldom found in one so young.  It is our guess that his name will be familiar to lovers of art in this country within the next ten years.” [1] 

This was the first of many Vose Galleries shows in which Parr exhibited after his return from the war, including two solo exhibitions and three shows with the Boston Society of Watercolor Painters.  He eventually settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, and worked as a painting instructor at Boston’s Vesper George Art School.

[1] Vose Artist Files, Robert C. Vose statement on James W. Parr.

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