Maxfield Parrish, 1870-1966

by Alma Gilbert

 

Dinkey Bird, 1904, oil on paper, 21 1/4 x 15 1/2 inches

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, FL

 

Parrish began illustrating children's books in 1897 when he was approached by publishers Way and Williams of Chicago to illustrate L. Frank Baum's first work: Mother Goose in Prose. (This work remains one of the most valuable of all the Parrish-illustrated books with a first edition recently fetching between $1,500 and $2,000.) The success of the book prompted another publisher, R. H. Russell of New York to solicit his work for a new edition of Washigton Irving's Knickerbosker History of New York in 1898.

Gulnare of the Sea, 1910, color lithograph,

Collection of David Stoner, Sunnyvale, CA

 

The financial gains from these books brought Parrish the income to allow his move away from Philadelphia and into New Hampshire to join his father Stephen and other major artists including Augustus St. Gaudens, Winston Churchill (the American writer), Percy McKay, Remington and others in the famous artists' colony locatyed betwen Cornish and Plainfield. In 1899 publisher John Lane of London and New York asked him to illustrate Kenneth Graham's books Golden Age (1899) and Dream Days (1902). The international success of these wonderful children's classics brought Parrish still another major publisher.

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 10/28/11

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