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Tiger Lilies

Oren Parker


Date  1968                                             

Medium  Watercolor

Dimensions  19 h. x 14 inches

   

Additional Info: Taped on back:

OREN PARKER, INSTRUCTOR - YALE UNIVERSITY - PRESENTED TO STATE OF OHIO THIRD HONORABLE MENTION AMERICAN ART WEEK 1953 - 53 STATES AND TERRITORIES REPRESENTED. DAYTON, XENIA, AND PIQUA OHIO REPRESENTED.




Wilford Oren Parker
Dec. 1, 1911 - Jan. 29, 2007

Wilford Oren Parker, an internationally recognized design professor at Carnegie Mellon University who co-authored a textbook used by theatrical designers and technicians for more than a generation, died Monday. He was 95.

For the past six months, Mr. Parker and his wife, Thelma, lived near their son, Wilford Jr., in Albuquerque, N.M.

Mr. Parker grew up in Rochester, Mich., and earned a bachelor's degree in drama from the University of Michigan.

After receiving a master's in drama from Yale University in 1940, Mr. Parker was invited to join the drama faculty there. He remained at Yale until 1963, when he left to accept an appointment as professor of drama at Carnegie Mellon, where he taught scene design until his retirement in 1976.

Shortly after arriving in Pittsburgh, Mr. Parker co-authored "Scene Design and Stage Lighting," which has been published in seven editions. Mr. Parker also authored "Sceno-Graphic Techniques."

"Oren was a major figure in the department as well as internationally," said Susan Tsu, a professor of costume design in the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon, who met Mr. Parker in 1968.

She said Mr. Parker was actively involved in the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.

"He was such a dedicated educator that there's a national scholarship in his name that USITT awards annually to the best student," she said.

"He's a legend around here," said Dick Block, associate head of the university's School of Drama. "He was instrumental in building the design program."

Mr. Block said he met Mr. Parker in the mid-1970s. He later worked with him on the seventh edition of "Scene Design and Stage Lighting."

Mr. Parker designed more than 150 sets for plays, ballets and television shows, for CBS, Westport Country Playhouse, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and Goodspeed Opera House, and for industrial productions for Coca-Cola, American Motors and General Motors.

He served as an architectural consultant for the construction of theaters for Mt. Lebanon High School, McKeesport Little Theater, Chatham College and Sewickley Academy.

Mr. Parker also was an accomplished watercolorist and graphic artist. After his retirement, he created ceramic sculptures of masks to add to a large collection of theatrical and folk art masks.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Parker is survived by a daughter, Margaret-Ann Rice of Lincoln, Mass.; a brother, Kenneth Parker of Traverse City, Mich.; and two grandchildren.

Contributions are suggested to the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama, W. Oren Parker Award Fund, 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh 15213.

First Published February 3, 2007, 12:00am

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