Leigh Parry, Sen RBA, PPPS, Hon SEA, Hon PSC, 1919 – 2017
RBA President Nick Tidnam says:
I was very sorry to hear the sad news about Leigh.
I have always found him to be a very kind and friendly man who made me feel most welcome as a new member of the RBA.
He served as treasurer on the RBA Council always giving his time generously and whatever he had to say was measured and well thought out. I will miss him greatly.
And many other members of the Society have shared the sentiments expressed by the President and have sent messages of condolence.
Leigh was born in London and having qualified in medicine he worked as a GP in Stamford at the time when Lord Exeter introduced the Horse Trials to Burghley. He was very much involved in offering medical cover during the first years of the event, which gave him ample opportunity for observation of equestrian activities, which became a prominent part of his artwork. In equestrian art Leigh Parry followed a family tradition which he traced back to his forbear Walter Parry Hodges(1760-1845) whose work was engraved by Henry Alken Senior for the Beaufort Hunt Prints in 1833. Leigh himself was commissioned by the British Horse Society to paint pictures of the Burghley Horse Trials, which have since been published as Limited Edition Prints
Leigh first exhibited his work with the Royal Society of British Artists in 1953, at their original gallery in Suffolk Street, London, and his work was shown at other prestigious galleries at about that time or soon after. He worked in oils, watercolours and pastels and many of his works now hang in public and private collections worldwide.
As well as being elected to the RBA, where he served as Honorary Treasurer in 1993 and later becoming a Senior Member, his talents and skills were also acknowledged by other societies; he was a Senior Member and Trustee of the Pastel Society UK and served as their President from 1983-1988. He was a member of the Society of Equestrian Artists and an Honorary Member of the Pastel Society of Canada. He also served on the Board of Governors of the Federation of British Artists at the Mall Galleries, from 1983-1986
Work by Leigh Parry is in the possession of such public bodies as the HSBC Bank plc, Singer and Friedlander Bank, Remy Martin, Lincolnshire Museums, Kesteven County Council, Essex County Council, Burghley House, Oundle School, Guys Hospital and the British Horse Society.
All in all he made a huge and much respected contribution to British Art and will be very much missed by those who knew him and by those who valued and admired his artistic output.
His daughters, Rosemary Swayne and Jane Parry have arranged a Thanksgiving Service for his life, which will be held on Monday 12 February 2018 at noon at St George’s Church, Stamford, PE9 2BN