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Parry, Elwood Comly, III

    Full Name: Parry, Elwood Comly, III

    Other Names:

    • "Lee"

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1941

    Date Died: 2005

    Place Born: Abington, Montgomery, PA, USA

    Place Died: Wilmington, New Hanover, NC, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): American (North American)


    Americanist and Thomas Cole scholar. Parry was the grandson of Ellwood Comly Parry, a Schiller scholar who taught at the Central High School of Philadelphia, and the son of Ellwood Comly, Jr. and Elizabeth Graham (Parry). The youngest Parry attended Harvard University, graduating in 1964. He married Carol Jacqueline Newman the same year. Parry served in the Naval Air Reserve between 1961-69. His master’s degree was granted at UCLA in 1966. He returned to the east coast were he wrote a doctorate in art history from Yale University in 1970 on the American painter Thomas Cole. He taught as an assistant professor at Columbia University in the Department of Art History and Archaeology between 1969 and 1975. He divorced his first wife in 1971, and married Pamela Jeffcott, an art librarian, the same year. Parry’s major monograph, an examination of the depiction of minorities in the early art of the United States, appeared in 1974. In 1976 he moved to the University of Iowa as an associate professor of art history. Parry taught at Iowa until 1981 when he was called to the University of Arizona in Tucson, as a full professor. A monograph of Thomas Cole appeared in 1988. Parry was diagnosed with cancer in 2001; he died from complications of that disease while vacationing in North Carolina. His wife, Pamela, was the executive director of the Art Libraries Society of North America.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] Thomas Cole’s “The Course of Empire”: A Study in Serial Imagery. Yale, 1970; The Image of the Indian and the Black Man in American Art, 1590-1900. New York: G. Braziller, 1974; The Art of Thomas Cole: Ambition and Imagination. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 1988; and Stubbs, Robert. Photographer Thomas Eakins. Philadelphia: Olympia Galleries, 1981; and Sirkis, Nancy. Reflections of 1776: The Colonies Revisited. New York: Viking, 1974; and Stilgoe, John R. Thomas Cole: Drawn to Nature. Albany, NY: Albany Institute of History and Art, 1993.


    personal information; Who’s Who in American Art (16th ed.), 1984, p. 707; [obituary:] [Tucson] Arizona Daily Star September 27, 2005.


    "Parry, Elwood Comly, III." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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