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Biography: Elmerina and Paul Parkman

Paul and Elmerina Parkman - photo by Miriam Rosenthal
Elmerina and Paul Parkman

Elmerina and Paul Parkman have been collectors of American studio glass since 1971, with a particular interest in documentation of this movement as it has evolved. In the 1970s and 1980s, they traveled extensively to attend glass events and to visit craft schools, artists’ studios, museum exhibitions, and gallery shows.

They are Fellows of the Museum (Elmerina has been a Fellow for more than 20 years), Trustees of the Creative Glass Center of America at Wheaton Arts, and founding members of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, where they serve on the Board of Directors.

In 1982, they were founding members of the James Renwick Alliance, a national non-profit organization that supports the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; each has been president. Mr. Parkman also served as a commissioner of the museum.

The Parkmans made a major contribution of archival material to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, and have given more than 1,000 books, exhibition catalogs, and periodicals to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library. In recent years, they have donated pieces from their collection to the Renwick Gallery and The Corning Museum of Glass.