N. Ross Parke was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in 1904. He studied two years at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and received his BFA degree in 1927 from the Yale School of Fine Arts. He was a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, in London, England, and is listed in the Who's Who in American Art.
Mr. Parke was a freelance artist and teacher, and won many awards from Florida to New England, including 1st Gold Medal and Money Award of the Beaux Art Institute of Design in New York City. He represented the state of Connecticut in the Grumbacker Award. He was an active member in the West Hartford Music & Art Club, and West Hartford Art League, of which he was a charter member and honorary past president, and where, for 37 years (minus 3 in the US Army), he was an art instructor. He also taught classes at the Hartford YWCA and YMCA, the Immanuel Congregational Church, and for 24 years at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
His work ranged from one and a half inch squares to painting murals on the walls and ceiling of the South Church Congregational in Grafton, Vermont, in 1954. He exhibited with the Connecticut Academy and held countless exhibitions over his more than 50 year career. He was commissioned by the Mechanics Savings Bank in Hartford to render their new building and four historical sites in Hartford. He reckoned he did pen & ink renderings of more than one hundred homes in the Hartford area. He was an accomplished designer and calligrapher, writing most of his correspondence in Old English script, designing certificates, awards, illuminated "Books of Remembrances" for local churches, etc.
He died in West Hartford in 1980 at the age of 75.
Newspaper clippings and exhibit literature
Information courtesy of the artist's great-niece, Diane Ulmer Pedersen.