Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland
Agnes Miller Parker was born in Britain in 1895, at Irvine, Ayrshire. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1911 to 1917, and joined the staff of the School for a short period. In 1918 she married the painter, William McCance; and thereafter passed most of her career in London and southern Britain. In 1955 she moved to Glasgow. She then lived at Lamlash on the Isle of Arran. She died in 1980 at Greenock. Halsby and Harris, in The Dictionary of Scottish Painters (1990) suggest that Parker's early paintings, as well as those of her husband, reflect the short-lived group of artists known as Vorticists, active in London in the 1920s. The main body of her work consists of wood engravings for book illustrations. Halsby and Harris characterize these as demonstrating fine draughtsmanship and skilful use of black and white design. She illustrated The Fables of Aesop (1931), Through the Woods by H. E. Bates (1936), and her most acclaimed work, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray (1938), titles for the Limited Editions Club of New York and editions of the works of Shakespeare and Thomas Hardy.