2020 Maxfield Parrish Exhibit & Sale!

JANUARY 2020

Happy New Year to all at the beginning of the 2nd decade of the 21st Century

Although Maxfield Parrish was not known as a regular church goer, perhaps attending services on Christmas, New Year’s or for some special holiday celebration, he was fond of the architecture of three churches in particular:  The Plainfield Church along that town’s main street in New Hampshire as well as the two closest churches across the river in Vermont:  Norwich and the one in Windsor.  He was also not averse to combining in his paintings the architectural features of and/or the geographical setting of a church in New Hampshire, for instance, with a church in Vermont or vice-versa!

In a letter he wrote  Nancy Roelker, the young lady from one of the founding families of the country with whom he fell deeply in love late in life (See my book:  Maxfield Parrish: The Secret Letters),  the artist wrote about a painting of a little village church which he was working on in 1939:  “It’s of a church at Windsor and I put on top of it a steeple from Concord, MA and they may not even be the same denomination!  That may be blasphemy, but how was I to know?”

At Close of Day (1943)

Anyhow, the little church featured above is the one created by the artist in 1941 but not published by Brown and Bigelow as a winter calendar until 1943.  The church is located (and is still active today) in his home town of Plainfield, NH, and is the one the artist was most likely to have attended whenever he chose. It is located below where the artist lived high up on a hill overlooking Plainfield’s main street. The painting’s given title is “Plainfield NH Church at Dusk” and the artist was careful to recreate it faithfully.  A reminder that for most of us, attendance to church keeps us centered even in the hardest of times….AGS

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In this day and age of political and economic uncertainty and discord, it is refreshing to find the art auction markets active and flourishing. Witness these four hugely important Parrish paintings which appeared at auction in November. I have enjoyed helping the auction houses of Christie’s and Sotheby’s with the background and provenance (ownership) information for these four paintings.  See below for the results of one auction, which demonstrates that the Parrish art market is alive and well, and that important MP originals with solid provenances will quickly sell.

The Millpond was done in 1945 and appeared as the Brown & Bigelow summer calendar for 1948. Sold at the Sotheby’s auction November 19th for $2,420,000, which was far, far above the high pre-auction estimate of $800,000.

Cleopatra was done in 1917 for use as the Crane’s Chocolate Candy box top decoration. Sold at Sotheby’s for $2,300,000, which again was way above the high pre-auction estimate of $1,200,000.

The study for a poster for Scribner’s Magazine was early in Parrish’s career, in 1897. Even this relatively minor Parrish study sold for $225,000, almost double its pre-auction estimate of $120,000.

Aucassin Seeks For Nicolette  was used as the frontispiece in color for the July 1903 issue of Scribner’s Magazine.  And finally, this painting was also successfully sold at Sotheby’s, at a sale price of $350,000

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Original Parrish Art For Sale

We thought our readers might enjoy viewing an interesting example of Parrish’s early art, and which is now available for purchase at a very reasonable price.

An original full sized 1896 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts show poster in an excellent state of preservation.  By “full sized”, the poster dimensions are a huge 28″ x 44″.   This particular poster has been personally autographed by Parrish himself, which is very rarely seen and hard to come by. Ludwig Catalog item #47.

Autographed 1896 Show Poster

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In regards to our 2020 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: agilbert@almagilbert.com