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Betty Parsons

Betty Parsons, The Grass and the Wine, 1980

Betty Parsons's one-person exhibition Betty Parsons at the Marion Art Center in Marion, MA.

The institution's press release follows:

The Marion Art Center is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibit: Betty Parsons. Betty Parsons (b.1900, New York, NY – d.1982, Southold, NY) was an abstract painter and sculptor who is well known as a dealer of mid-century art. Parsons had a storied career as a gallerist in New York City and maintained a rigorous artistic practice by creating works in a variety of media including paintings, sculpture, and works on paper. Parsons’ eye for innovative talent stemmed from her own artistic training, and her commitment to championing new and emerging artists of her time impacted the canon of twentieth-century art in the United States. (

Lee Hall – painter, writer, educator and 13th president of Rhode Island School of Design – referred to Betty Parsons as a maverick, a pioneer, and the “den mother of Abstract Expressionism” in her book Betty Parsons: Artist, Dealer, Collector. Parsons’ contemporaries included Rothko, de Kooning, Reinhardt, and Motherwell, all of whom showed at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Parsons’ own artistic style changed over her many years of work, from small landscapes and portraits to bold, large abstract paintings and sculptural constructions made from wood and other found materials. During her career Parsons exhibited in numerous galleries in London, New York, and across the United States. Her work is held in several collections: the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, the High Museum in Atlanta, and many private collections.