Parker was born in London and spent her early years in Oxford studying at the Wychwood School
Between the years 1966-1969 she studied for a degree in the history of European art at the Courtauld Institute in London. In 1972 she joined the feminist magazine Spare Rib . She and Griselda Pollock then went on to found a feminist group, The Feminist Art History Collective.
Parker died in 2010, aged 64, of cancer.