Nearly 300 works by famed sculptor Charles Parks have been donated to the State of Delaware.
The donation is believed to be the largest collection of a major artist’s work ever given to the state. It includes 21 bronzes, 25 plasters, and 250 fiberglass works ranging in size from eight inches to nine feet.
“We are thrilled and honored that the State of Delaware will become the steward of Parks’ awe-inspiring collection, both for its artistic and its cultural value,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “I look forward to the day when we begin showcasing Charles Parks’ life work and telling his unique Delaware story.”
The official announcement of the donation was made today during an event honoring Parks in New Castle.
Parks, who was born in Virginia and moved to Delaware as a young boy, attended the University of Delaware and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He has created more than 500 sculptures for individuals, public parks and plazas throughout the country.
For several years, Parks and his wife Inge have sought a permanent home for the sculptor’s private collection, which is currently located at his studio at Bancroft Mills near Wilmington, Delaware. The Charles Cropper Parks Foundation was established in 2001 to anticipate such a transition and to oversee the transfer of pieces.
Details of the transfer will be worked out over the coming months. The State of Delaware’s intention is to display the works in public spaces on state properties.
“To have a nearly complete collection of an artist’s work is a rare and special thing,” said Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock, whose department will oversee the collection. “Mr. and Mrs. Parks and the Foundation have given the people of Delaware a great gift which I am sure will serve to delight and inspire people for generations to come.”