Clara Weaver Parrish (1861-1925)

In an extensive essay Lela Legaré wrote, ". . .Clara Weaver Parrish produced a prodigious amount of work in all her many media. Her exhibits ranged from Royal Academy of London and Liverpool to Byrd in Selma, Alabama. Her work elicited praise from critics of the annual exhibition held in New York and Paris. Her memberships in clubs and societies of artists were never passive. She was keenly interested in training young people to love and appreciate good art and to understand its many forms and symbolisms. Her writings were sparks from a brilliant and perceptive mind. By 1901, her works were hung in favored light in art exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, the Chicago World's Fair, and the Paris Exposition, where her pictures were chosen as representative of American Art."

Lured by the old cathedrals of Europe with their magnificent stained glass windows, Mrs. Parrish divided her time between travel in Europe and work in her studios in Paris and New York. Designing mosaics and stained glass windows and murals superseded painting as her greatest specialty and became the work she loved best. She became affiliated with Tiffany Stained Glass and Decorating Company and, with Louis C. Tiffany, designed the seven-panel window in St. Michael and All Angels Church in New York City, considered by Tiffany to be one of the finest windows in America. This Alabama woman dreamed of having her windows in Southern churches, and today they are found in several Alabama churches; Church of the Holy Cross in Uniontown, Christ Church in Tuscaloosa, First Baptist Church in Selma, and her own family church - St. Paul's in Selma.

Clara Weaver Parrish

Though not of less significance than her artistic achievements, Mrs. Parrish's contributions as a philanthropist are less known. The Weaver-Parrish Memorial Trust, established under the will of Clara Weaver Parrish, provides funds for specific purposes. Under the administration of the St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Selma, income from the trust provides aid to the needy of Selma and Dallas County, including a scholarship every other year to a graduate of Selma High School. Funds from the trust have been disbursed by the Department of Pensions and Security, Central Alabama Youth Services, the Salvation Army, West Central Alabama Rehabilitation, and Selma hospitals.

Clara Weaver Parrish's achievements are a source of pride for all Alabamians.

Bibliography
 

Brown, C. Reynolds. Clara Weaver Parrish. Montgomery: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1980.

     

Past Inductees
Alabama Women's Hall of Fame
Judson College


© 2000 Alabama Women's Hall of Fame