Artist, educator and scholar William “Bill” Parker was born January 1, 1932 in Jacksonville, Florida. Parker attended the University of Florida, where he earned both a Bachelor of Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting. Throughout his career Parker held teaching positions at Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Connecticut, where he taught for 25 years. A widely admired educator, he won the Teacher of the Year award from American Photo in 1990.
Parker was an authority on the history of photography and the interpretation of visual art through a Jungian perspective, topics he lectured on at venues throughout the United States. In addition to his animated lectures he frequently published his writings on photography. Notably, he wrote a groundbreaking piece on American photographer Jerry Uelsmann that first appeared in Aperture, and the introduction to Art and Photography: Forerunners and Influences, a book of writings by art historian Heinrich Schwarz that he also helped edit.
Parker was a longtime member of the National Society for Photographic Education, a board member at the Visual Studies Workshop, and a member of the New York C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology. Parker made art that focused on the male figure and often combined photography with painting. He exhibited nationally throughout his career, earning two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. His work can be found in collections throughout the country, including Philadelphia Museum of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
In April, 1971, Parker visited VSW and gave a series of lectures which were recorded for the VSW archives.