The Parrish/Tiffany Mural, Philadelphia, 1916
This month our website features the spectacular Dream Garden Mural in Philadelphia, the crown jewel in the series of murals which Parrish completed for the Cyrus Curtis building situated in Independence Square, across from where the Liberty Bell is installed. Edward Bok, the building’s administrator, and editor of The Ladies Home Journal magazine, had asked Parrish in 1913 for one more mural painting, to accompany all the other murals which he had already started on for the Curtis Publishing Company.
In 1913 Edward Bok, the manager of the Curtis Building, visited Parrish in his home and asked him to do a mural based on the artist’s famous garden there, with the masks, reflecting pool, and masses of spiraea flowers spilling down. Parrish demurred, because Gertrude Vanderbilt had been pressing him to start the work on her murals. After much discussion, it was decided that Parrish would instead do a painting, which would then be translated by the famous Louis Comfort Tiffany in his studio in New York, using 100,000 pieces of Favrile glass and employing 260 different color tones on a field of gold. Parrish was given artistic control of what the final mosaic work would look like, and Tiffany would be the studio that would translate the painter’s design.
The mural was designed to be installed in the entrance lobby of the Curtis building on four panels measuring 15 feet high by a whopping 49 feet long and weighing four tons! Installation of the panels in the Curtis building took six months and the mural was unveiled to the public in 1916.
The collaboration by Parrish and Tiffany has been hailed by art critics as one of this country’s most important artistic masterpieces. In 2001, Alma Gilbert received a commendation letter from the Philadelphia Historical Commission for her advice and testimony which led to the City’s retaining possession of the mural in perpetuity as its owner had intended, instead of being sold and shipped out of the country to a prospective wealthy buyer.
LATEST MOVIE NEWS
The movie script about the life of MAXFIELD PARRISH which has been a goal in my life is finally finished. Professional screen writer Jalynn Venis and I cooperated to bring this story to life. The script is based on two of my books: “The Masterworks” and the “The Secret Letters”.
The latest news about the movie project, which was entitled simply “Parrish” , saw Jalynn Venis win the prestigious Colorado Authors’ League award for best screen play. Here is Jalynn’s message to me on May 6th:
I won this award for the “Parrish” screenplay on Friday, May 4, 2018 at the Colorado Authors’ League Awards Banquet at the Arvada Center.
“Parrish” was one of five finalists in the competition… Because of the quality of the competition and my high regard for the other writers, I had absolutely no expectations of winning this award. When Awards Chairman Jerry Mitchell named the winner of the 2018 Screenplay competition as “Parrish”, I was thunderstruck…
It was a surreal experience as I walked up to the stage where CAL president Denny Dressman handed me a trophy before I stepped up on stage to shake Mitchell’s hand and say a few words at the podium. I thought about you and hoped you would be proud.
Also in regards to our 2018 exhibit of Parrish originals currently for sale, please view all the paintings, watercolors, and drawings by clicking on the Art for Sale link above.
Contact Alma Gilbert for the full catalogue and price list: firstname.lastname@example.org