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Parish Gallery records, 1940-2013, bulk 1991-2013

Historical Note

Parish Gallery (established 1991-closed 2013) was a gallery in Washington, D.C. Founded by artist Norman Parish (1937-2013), the gallery was known for exhibiting artwork by African American and international artists. Parish's wife Gwen co-managed the gallery from the beginning until it closed its doors. Over the course of its 22 year history, Parish gallery exhibited the works of over 170 artists from Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, France, Spain, Greece, and many other countries. In articles and interviews, Parish underscored the gallery's dedication to showing the works of underrepresented artists of all backgrounds, though the primary focus was the members of the African diaspora, and help them promote their work.
Norman Parish was born in New Orleans in 1937 and grew up in Chicago. He graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1960 and contributed to the Wall of Respect in 1967. He was a painter and was in several exhibitions. In 1988 Parish moved to Washington, D.C., and he opened Parish Gallery in Georgetown in 1991, making it one of the few galleries owned by an African American at the time. The gallery quickly grew in prominence over the years highlighting the works of major artists such as Wadsworth Jarrell, Herbert Gentry, and E. J. Montgomery, as well as artists from the United States and abroad. The final exhibition at the gallery was entitled Norman Parish: The Artist in 2013. Parish passed away that same year.