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 William Parker Abbe  (1916 - 1983)

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Lived/Active: New York/Massachusetts      Known for: Painting, prints, art education

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
William Parker Abbe (1916-1983)

Studied at Rectory school Pomfret Ct under Beatrice Stevens and graduated from Avon Old Farms Avon Ct.  He started college at Yale School of Drama studying Set design but finished his degrees at the Art Student League of New York studying with Harry Sternberg master of lithography and silk screening.  At the art student League William focused on drawings of building and street scenes in NYC as well as silkscreens.  He finished his schooling at Columbia University receiving an arts education degree.  From 1940-43 he served in the Army.  In 1944-45 he was official artist for the military in France and Germany mainly making maps and detailing buildings.  After the war he took a position as artist in residence at St Pauls School Concord New Hampshire where he remained until his retirement in 1981.  While at St Pauls he created large sheet metal sculptures as well as many prints of life at St Pauls.  He also started as daily strip detailing life at St Pauls giving Doonesbury creator Gary Trudeau his start.

Summers were spent on Martha's Vineyard where he painted, silkscreened and worked on woodblock prints on a daily basis.  William also traveled around the world many times and always had a sketch book in hand.  These sketchbooks also contained small printed items i.e. tickets, postcards collected in route and are wonderful descriptions of the trips.  Unfortunately he lost most of these books and many painting in a fire at St Pauls in the 60's.

William not only has numerous works in many Martha's Vineyard homes, he also has works at Avon Old Farm, St Pauls School, New Britain Museum of Art,  and the Library of Congress 1950 and many private collections around the world.

The artist's niece, Carolyn Smith

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