Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Maxfield Parrish Exhibit

If you have not already made your way to the Fennimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY, to see "Maxfield Parrish: Art of Light and Illusion", you need to get there as soon as possible.  The exhibit of over 40 pieces of his work will close on September 7, 2015.  D and I went down today to attend a gallery talk on this artist's work and returned home full of wonder.

You need to understand that I fell in love with Parrish's work when as a little girl I was given the edition of Tales of the Arabian Nights which he illustrated.  Over time I learned of his commercial work (posters and advertisements for things like Edison & Mazda Lamps, magazines covers, book illustrations, and more) and eventually saw some of his "pure" art work (a landscape painted to hang on a wall instead of being used as a poster or illustration was considered "serious" art).  When Parrish was painting pictures for books or for advertisements, illustrators were not considered real artists.  They made art that was commercial - in short, they got paid for their work.  There was a reason for their paintings; they did not paint in the hopes they might be admitted into a museum show.  Eventually, Parrish did win acceptance in art circles due to his landscapes . . . his incredible abilities over a lifetime had a lot to do with it.

I wish my brother D (aka BD) and E had been with us.  I thought of the way BD works as being very much like the way Parrish worked.  They are both determined to get every thing right.  Light and shadows, lines of perspective, the minute details, all need to be accurate.  Both are perfectionists.  Both do work that takes one's breath away and makes one think, "How did they do that?"  I, on the other hand, tend to walk by one of my framed pieces and say to myself, "Oops, there should a shadow there!"  And the next time I walk by the same painting I see some other problem.   I think D would have enjoyed meeting a like-minded artist during the gallery talk.   

Maybe I will lend him the book I bought when I finish with it.   What do you think, BD?

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