Proudly upholding the traditions set forth over 70 years ago by our founder Violet Parkhurst, world renowned seascape artist…
“Parkhurst paints seascapes, life-like studies of the bubbling foam-flinging seas of the world, which thunder on the shores in their wild rush for the beach.”
History of Parkhurst Gallery at Ports O'Call
Interview with Violet Parkhurst
Violet Parkhurst was born in Derby Line, VT, April 26, 1921, and attended the School of Practical Arts in Boston, and Baylor College in Waco, Texas and the Museum in Rio de Janeiro. Violet finished her formal training in the arts at Los Angeles City College.
Believing that an artist should see the world before they can become a great artist, she indulged her longings and visited every state of the Union, then Canada. In Mexico City she studied art for three months with Diego Rivera’s wife. She received a scholarship to the Rio de Janeiro Museum and was off to South America. On her way to Rio, the ship she was on had to drop the passengers in Natal, Brazil due to a revolution. They had to use the ship for Army personnel. She then rented a house in Natal, Brazil, studied Portuguese and wrote and illustrated a book. It was entitled “Jaguar By The Tale!” and was published in Rio. Here she painted pictures of the natives, the fruit markets and huts, all of which she sold. To pay for the travel, she became a Foreign Correspondent for movie magazines published and distributed in South America. She has interviews and photos of herself with most of the major stars including Clark Gable whom she dated.
Parkhurst gave up writing and turned seriously to painting because of her love for this medium. The temperament she inherited from her French mother and Scotch-Irish father could best be expressed by oils and brush. This internationally acclaimed woman artist is no mild illustrator, nor is she a dabbler in prosaic landscapes. Instead she specializes in two genres into which women painters have rarely ventured, seascapes and nudes, and certainly not with the force, action and vibrancy she brings to her work.
Her legendary seascapes are collected by over five million people around the world including four US Presidents, two Presidents of China, King of Saudi Arabia, and a host of celebrities including her very first admirer Clark Gable.
Parkhurst paintings are on permanent collection in dozens of museums around the world including the China National Museum of Fine Art and the Stockholm Museum. She has also been on exhibit in the Louvre and Prado Museums.
In the Spring of 2002, Violet Parkhurst was honored as the first western artist to have paintings in the collections of The Great Hall of the Peoples Republic of China and the China National Museum of Fine Arts, and was installed as Professor Emeritus at the Jilin Art College.
In 2005 Violet Parkhurst, through the efforts of Councilwoman Janice Hahn and Larry Covin, was honored for her contribution to the arts by the City of Los Angeles, with a resolution granting her a namesake day, Violet Parkhurst Day, November 3rd.
Her lifetime philanthropic contributions included serving on the Board of Directors for the Hollywood Bowl Easter Sunrise Service with two years service as President. Her artwork has been seen on the cover of the program for the past 20+ years.
Violet Parkhurst’s contribution to cross-cultural philanthropy is evident in her position as chairwoman of the World American Cultural Exchange, as well as her early work as a foreign correspondent.
She is remembered as an avid animal lover and supporter of animal rights, with a distinguished history with such organizations as Actors and Others for Animals.
In recognition of her lifetime achievement Violet is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in International Art, Community Leaders, Noteworthy Americans and American Artists of Renown.
World renowned marine artist Violet Kinney Parkhurst passed away Sunday, January 13, 2008 in San Pedro, California.