Works by the American imagist Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966), one of the greats of the Golden Age of Illustration, will be on view at Nassau County Museum of Art from November 21, 2015 to February 28, 2016. The works are drawn from the National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, Rhode Island, and curated by Judy and Laurence S. Cutler, co-founders of the National Museum of American Illustration.
Maxfield Parrish: Paintings and Prints from the National Museum of American Illustration embodies the artist’s long career and extraordinary accomplishments, displaying Parrish’s lush coloristic effect with amazing detail. The exhibition includes original artworks as well as a large collection of vintage prints. Through this showing of artworks and vintage reproductions, today’s viewers will have the unique opportunity to see the way that viewers of an earlier age observed these images, comparing the mass-produced reproductions against the original luminous canvases.
Parrish described himself as “a businessman with a brush,” and was proud of his ability to market his artwork to the public. In 1904, a time that that the average annual income for an American worker was $500 or less, Parrish signed a six-year contract with Collier’s Magazine for $1,250 per month. His fee rose to $2,000 a painting, but each Parrish cover was a guaranteed sell out for that month’s edition of Collier’s.
Parrish’s universally popular and instantly recognizable images were produced between the late 1890s through the mid 1960s; they were seen on magazine covers, greeting cards, art prints, calendars, novels, advertisements and packaging. Clear and bold, with uncomplicated subjects, Maxfield Parrish’s art prints papered the walls of American homes for decades.
Nassau County Museum of Art is offering public programming to enhance the experience of viewing the exhibition. There are daily screenings of a 30-minute documentary, Parrish Blue: An American Art History that includes images of many of Parrish’s original canvases as well as comments by the artist’s son, Maxfield Parrish, Jr., and Norman Rockwell, a friend and fellow artist. These screenings are free with museum admission. Also free with museum admission are three Brown Bag Lectures—December 17, January 7 and February 4—in which Museum Docent Riva Ettus discusses Parrish’s works and career. On December 5, Judy and Laurence Cutler, curators of the exhibition and co-founders of the National Museum of American Illustration, present a talk on Parrish and other American imagists. On December 19, Gemini Journey presents a violin/cello concert of music from the early 20th century, the Golden Age of Illustration. Additional information about these and other events and registration for the December 5 and 19 events will be available on the museum’s website beginning on November 9. Visit nassaumuseum.org/events.
Nassau County Museum of Art is located at One Museum Drive in Roslyn Harbor, just off Northern Boulevard, Route 25A, two traffic lights west of Glen Cove Road. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Docent-led tours of the exhibition are offered at 2 p.m. each day; tours of the mansion are offered each Saturday at 1 p.m.; meet in the lobby, no reservations needed. Tours are free with museum admission. Family tours and art activities are offered Sundays from 1 pm; free with museum admission. Call (516) 484-9338, ext. 12 to inquire about group tours. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62 and above) and $4 for students with ID and children aged 4 to 12. Members and children under 4 are admitted free. The Museum Store is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call (516) 484-9337 for current exhibitions, events, days/times and directions or log onto nassaumuseum.org.
Nassau County Museum of Art is chartered and accredited by New York State as a not-for-profit private educational institution and is governed by a privately elected Board of Trustees. The Museum and its programs are made possible through the support of Nassau County under County Executive Edward P. Mangano and the Nassau County Legislature; the Board of Trustees and Museum Members; Sponsors of Exhibitions and Events, Government and Foundation Grants, Corporate and Private Donors as well as earned income.