PARKER, Mabel Oliver

1868 - 1956

As Mabel Oliver, she was born at 15 Jesus Lane, Cambridge on 20 November 1868, daughter of Samuel Oliver (1832-5 June 1870) and his wife Emily Elizabeth née Harper (1830-10 April 1918), who married at Cambridge in 1855. Mabel's father Samuel, contracted tetanus and died at Cambridge in 1870, aged 38, leaving a widow and six children. In 1871, her mother was a 40-year-old widowed dressmaker, living at Cambridge with three children, Joseph 14, Mabel 2 and newly born Samuel. In 1881, 12-year-old Mabel was living at 12 Brunswick Walk, Cambridge with her mother and two elder sisters, Florence 24, born at Boston, USA and Sarah 17, born at London. Mabel trained at the Slade School of Fine Art 1888-1890 and married at the Baptist Chapel, Mildenhall, Suffolk on 6 July 1893, Luther Charles Frederick Parker (2 August 1868-28 August 1949), a merchant. In 1911, Luther was a 42-year-old miller, maltster & merchant, living at York House, West Street, Mildenhall, Suffolk with his 42-year-old wife Mabel and five children, Donald 17, John Lankester 15, Oliver Stuart 15, Joseph Yorke 8 and Richard Hugh 6. Mabel produced powerful studies of male models and family portraits also some highly effective portraits in pastel but later in life, her painting was in watercolour, including evocative scenes from the Suffolk Brecklands, lake and coastal scenery, village and country subjects, often including mills, giving her the opportunity to show her skills at depicting reflections in water. Mabel also became very skilled at etching on copper plates which covered a wide range of subjects, but the bulk of her output was of Oxford and Cambridge schools and colleges. A member of the Ipswich Art Club 1929-1955 and exhibited from The Mill House, Mildenhall in 1929 two oil paintings, 'Ely Cathedral-The Transept' and 'The Bridge of Sighs, St John's, Cambridge', in 1930 two paintings 'The Trinity Great Court, Cambridge' and 'Clare College, Cambridge', in 1932 as Mrs Oliver Parker of Mildenhall, she exhibited two works 'Christchurch, Peckwater Quad, Oxford' and 'The Gate of Honour, Caius College, Cambs' and in 1933 she used the name of Mrs Oliver Parker (Rae). In 1938 she exhibited from Canford, Worlington, Bury St Edmund's three paintings, 'King's College, Cambridge', 'On the Orwell' and 'St John's Tower, Cambridge' and in 1945, as M. Oliver Rae, a pseudonym that she sometimes painted under, from 30 Mill Street, Mildenhall, a portfolio of watercolours, she was a regular exhibitor until her death. In 1939, she was living at Old Mill House, Mildenhall, where her husband died in 1949, aged 80 and Mabel Parker died at The Hall, Mill Street, Mildenhall on 7 October 1956, aged 87.

Works by This Artist