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John Henry Parker
Date: English, 1806 -1884
Biography: John Henry Parker was born in London in 1806. An English scholar, he was interested in the history of architecture and in restoration. After a period spent in Rome, Parker entered the field of classical archaeology. In 1868 he founded the British and American Archaeological Society of Rome. In 1870 he was elected director of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. He died there in 1884. From 1867 to 1870 he carried out his main project to photograph the principal monuments of Rome, from the classical age to 1600. He employed local photographers De Bonis, Filippo Spina, Carlo Baldassare Simelli, Francesco Sidoli, Filippo Lais, Giovanni Battista Colamedici, as well as a Canadian one, Charles Smeaton. The glass plate negatives at the American Academy in Rome are all that survives of the over 3,300 photographs of Roman and medieval architecture and art executed and cataloged under his direction. The collection has a considerable interest, especially as it documents the excavations made in the second half of the 19th century. Many of his photographs were used to illustrate his publication Archaeology of Rome (1874-1876). In 1893 Parker's archive of negatives was destroyed in a fire in the Palazzo Negroni-Caffarelli in Via Condotti in Rome. Beside the American Academy and the Archivio Fotografico Comunale in Rome which have a considerable number of prints, almost complete sets of Parker prints are in the British School and in the German Archaeological Institute (Rome), in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology (University of Michigan), in the Ashmolean Museum and the Bodleian Library (Oxford). Biography taken from: