May Day is a May 1st celebration with a long and varied history, dating back millennia. Throughout the years, there have been many different events and festivities worldwide, most with the express purpose of welcoming in a change of season (spring in the Northern Hemisphere).
The Celts of the British Isles believed May 1 to be the most important day of the year, when the festival of Beltane was held. This May Day festival was thought to divide the year in half, between the light and the dark. When the Romans took over the British Isles, they brought with them their five-day celebration known as Floralia, devoted to the worship of the goddess of flowers, Flora.
Through the 19th and 20th centuries, May Basket Day celebrations took place all across this nation. An 1871 newspaper reporter explained: “A May-basket is — well, I hardly know how to describe it; but ’tis something to be hung on a door. Made of paper generally, it contains almost anything, by way of small presents you have in mind to put in it, together with your respects, best wishes .”
Today, May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more, but ironically it is rarely recognized in the country where it began, the United States of America.
Judging by the Painting above, in which Parrish himself posed whimsically to depict his effort at growing a May Day flower, he was going to be a wee bit late in celebrating the 1905 season.
Original Parrish Art For Sale
We thought our readers might enjoy seeing a couple of very interesting examples of Parrish’s art, and which are available for purchase at very reasonable prices.
An original full sized 1896 show poster autographed personally by the artist, which is very hard to come by. By “full sized” we refer to the full poster dimensions of 28″ x 44″. This is Ludwig Catalog item #47.
And on the right, a cut- out study done in 1935 for the St. Regis Hotel in New York City as a preliminary concept for a lobby display bulletin. This is Ludwig catalog item #759. (SOLD)
In regards to our 2019 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