Agnes Miller Parker (1895 – 1980), Irvine-born artist, engraver and illustrator.

On the 3rd of April 1895 the artist, engraver and illustrator Agnes Miller Parker was born in Clyde View, West Road, Irvine. Her parents were William McCall Parker – an Analytical Chemist and Agnes Harriet Parker – nee Mitchell. They were married on 21st March 1894 in Townhead, Irvine. 

Portrait of Agnes Miller Parker

Agnes studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1911 to 1917 and it was here that she met fellow student William McCance. Agnes taught at the school for a while before marrying William in 1918. They moved to London in 1920 where their work was influenced by the Cubist and Vorticist movements.

In the 1930s Agnes became well known for her wood-engravings for book illustrations. These engravings were produced by the Gregynog Press in Wales and included, “Through the Woods” by H E Bates in 1936, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” by Thomas Gray in 1938 and “The Fables of Aesop” in 1931. Agnes also illustrated limited editions of works by Thomas Hardy and William Shakespeare. 

Whilst in London her husband worked as a teacher and was also employed by the weekly British magazine “The Spectator” as an art critic. In the 1930s he took the post as second controller of the Gregynog Press, producing Agnes’ woodcut illustrations. He also taught book design at the University of Reading. He died in 1970 and his paintings can be seen in the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh and Dundee Art Gallery. 

Agnes moved to Glasgow in 1955 and lived in Lamlash in Arran for a period of time before dying in 1980.