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Past Exhibit

Historic Aircraft Profiles

January 5 – February 4

Last week - Ends February 4

B-29 Cutaway, Robert Parks

Opening Reception: January 5, 5-8pm

Historic Boeing Aircraft Profiles is an exhibit of illustrative work by artist Robert Parks featuring paintings and drawings depicting a wide array of historic airplanes, including many manufactured by the Boeing company. His crisp, detailed execution of these iconic flying machines, presented beside illustrations Parks created for the book by author Ernest K. Gann entitled Ernest K. Gann's Flying Circus, portray an insider's up-close and personal view of these craft, communicating Parks' true affection for each subject. Long retired from his profession as a Boeing aircraft designer, Parks' exhibit invites us to appreciate the sleek lines and striking silhouette of each craft from the designer's intimate perspective.

The exhibit offers original profile paintings of many aircraft, as well as dramatic illustrations from the book which provide context and a glimpse into the exploits of each one.  A highlight of this collection is one of the artist's original drawings, a pencil sketch of a WWII flyer, rendered when the artist was but a teenager.

About Robert Parks

Robert Parks has been an artist since the 1970’s, working in pencil, pen & Ink, watercolor and oil. He has work in the Museum of Flight, the 15th Air Force Museum, the Smithsonian, and the offices of Boeing executives. He also worked at Boeing for 48 years. Although now in his nineties, his art draws on fresh and young techniques combining color and detail in every piece.

Artist Statement

I started life in the mid 1920's in Washington,  D. C. but I grew up on the beaches on the Gulf coast of Florida. After high school I served in the U.S.A.A.F. during World War 2, after which I attended Duke University. I went to work for the Boeing Company in 1950 and worked on all the jet programs from the B-52 to the 777, ending my career there in the preliminary design group.  After I retired, I returned twice to work on the advanced versions of the 747 and finally retired after a total of 48 years.

Art has always been foremost in my interests. Having a father who was a prominent architect and artist certainly had a hand in that. Self taught, I have been painting for almost 40 years, concentrating on aviation subjects. This led to my working with author, Ernest Gann, to illustrate a book about the history of civil aviation. After that I was honored when the Smithsonian Institution asked me to prepare a painting for the opening of the Balloon and Airship wing in 1976. Now, landscapes, seascapes, and portraits have entered the picture along with the aviation subjects.