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Last Chance to view "DAYBREAK"- Parrish Masterpiece on exhibit at NMAI

The National Museum of American Illustration


MAXFIELD PARRISH "DAYBREAK" 1922, oil on board

Last Chance to View Maxfield Parrish’s Masterpiece DAYBREAK at National Museum of American Illustration

Maxfield Parrish’s record-setting masterpiece, DAYBREAK, is on loan to the Museum until August 25, 2006 after which it will go into a private, closed collection never to be seen in public again. The Museum will be open for general admission on August 19-20 from 10am-2pm, or by reservation Mondays through Fridays for guided tours.

“The recent results of America illustrators at auctions this spring has confirmed their importance in American art. Works by Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell set new records at auction, indicating the current level of respect and appreciation for these artists, and this genre, today,” explains the Museum’s Director and Co-Founder, Judy Goffman Cutler. “Although the loan of DAYBREAK was arranged with little advance notice, we are thrilled beyond belief to offer to the public the only opportunity to view this work. DAYBREAK has been privately held since 1922 and only rarely exhibited to the public in the last 80 years. In conjunction with DAYBREAK, we have arranged the loan of several other significant works by Parrish- MY DUTY TOWARDS MY NEIGHBOR/ MY DUTY TOWARDS GOD, DREAM GARDEN and PRESENTATION PIECE FOR THE FLORENTINE FETE 'A Call To Joy'. Like DAYBREAK, MY DUTY TOWARDS MY NEIGHBOR/ MY DUTY TOWARDS GOD is also entering a private collection after being exhibited at the NMAI.”

In 1922, Maxfield Parrish painted DAYBREAK, which he referred to as his 'great painting’. It was distributed as an art print from 1922-1953, and DAYBREAK became the most successful art print of the last century thusly securing Parrish’s position as the most popular illustrator after World War I. DAYBREAK was laid out according to dynamic symmetry using photographs of Kitty Owen, his daughter Jean and Susan Lewin as models, posed amidst a backdrop of architectural elements, columns, urns, and fantastical landscape. Art prints of DAYBREAK were the sensation of the 1920's and they were displayed in one of every four American homes. It is said to be the most reproduced art image in history, surpassing THE LAST SUPPER and Andy Warhol's soup cans. The study for DAYBREAK is also on exhibition for this unique showing of rare and important Parrish Masterpieces. This is possibly the only time since its creation that the study will be shown next to the finished work.

My Duty_MP

MAXFIELD PARRISH (1870-1966) "MY DUTY TOWARDS MY NEIGHBOR/ MY DUTY TOWARDS GOD" 1898, oil on canvas/ oil on panel, frame: oak and white pine

MY DUTY TOWARDS MY NEIGHBOR/ MY DUTY TOWARDS GOD was created in 1898 for the Mrs. Parsons Memorial Chapel at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox, MA. The artwork remained in the church until its sale to a private collector in early June, and has never before been publicly exhibited. At the church, in its position above the fireplace as placed by Parrish’s hands, it was rarely seen by visitors, as the chapel was later converted to a nursery school. Art historian Coy Ludwig said of these small murals, executed on pine boards, that they ‘have the interesting Pre-Raphaelite quality sometimes seen in the products of the Arts and Crafts Movement in America.’ There is no doubt that the faces and costumes are reminiscent of Rosetti and Waterhouse. The frame, with its design, colors and lettering, all executed by the artist, is also derivative of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Parrish obviously felt that such a commission deserved the full treatment, and that if he had left the framing up to the congregation he would have lost control of the total effect he wished to create. As a complete object, it stands as a testament to the artist’s many talents and vision. It is his only diptych and truly is unique amongst his oeuvre.

Dream Garden

MAXFIELD PARRISH (1870-1966) "DREAM GARDEN" 1914, oil on panel

Also on loan to the NMAI is Parrish’s DREAM GARDEN, the maquette from which his stunning DREAM GARDEN mural at the Curtis Publishing Company building was fashioned. In the only collaboration of his artistic career, Parrish’s 2ft 1 1/2in x 6ft 6in DREAM GARDEN was enlarged and translated into a 15ft x 49ft favrille glass mosaic by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Installed in the Curtis lobby in 1915, the mosaic was hailed at the time as ‘a veritable masterpiece’. This painting is a wonderful complement to the FLORENTINE FETE murals exhibited at the National Museum of American Illustration, which, like DREAM GARDEN, were commissioned for the Curtis Publishing Company building in Philadelphia. The loan of this study allows further insight to Parrish’s mural work from this period. Additionally, at Vernon Court, home of the Museum, murals by Tiffany Studios (1898) grace both loggias, allowing the visitor to compare and contrast the decorative work of Parrish with that of Tiffany. The Tiffany murals at Vernon Court are among the few surviving examples of Tiffany’s decorative murals on view today.

A call to Joy

MAXFIELD PARRISH (1870-1966) "PRESENTATION PIECE FOR THE FLORENTINE FETE -A Call to Joy" 1910, oil on stretched canvas

As a complement to the FLORENTINE FETE murals by Maxfield Parrish installed at the Museum, we are pleased to have on exhibit the PRESENTATION PIECE FOR THE FLORENTINE FETE 'A Call To Joy'. This smaller artwork (53 1/2" x 20 1/2") was created to convince the Curtis Publishing Company to commission Parrish for the 18 panels that make up A FLORENTINE FETE. “As often as possible, we try to display preparatory works or studies next to the finished artwork, to show the artist’s process. Having the concept piece for A FLORENTINE FETE on loan this summer affords such comparisons, which we are pleased to be able to offer”, Judy Cutler, Museum Director explains. Created between 1910 and 1916 for the girls’ dining room at the publishing house, the murals were widely reproduced throughout the years, including use as art prints and on the cover of the first women’s magazine, the Ladies Home Journal. The murals became most beloved by the public in the process, and in 1917 the hall in which they were exhibited became known as the Maxfield Parrish Dining Room, ‘the most beautiful dining room in America’. A FLORENTINE FETE, Parrish’s largest, and arguably greatest, work, is on permanent display at the NMAI.

Admissions: August 19 & 20, open each day 10:00 am- 3:00 pm. Additionally, the Museum is open for guided tours by advance reservation, Mondays through Fridays, May 30- November 3. Groups tours (15 or more persons) are welcome by advance reservation year-round. Tickets $25: Seniors 60+ and military w/id, $22, Children 12 & under not admitted. For more information telephone 401-851-8949 ext. 18 or

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Molly K. Dickinson, Director of Institutional Development, The National Museum of American Illustration- 492 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840 T: 401-851-8949 ext.18 F: 401-851-8974

The National Museum of American Illustration is a nonprofit independent, educational, and aesthetic organization. It is located in Newport, RI on Bellevue Avenue at Vernon Court (1898), a Beaux-Arts adaptation of an 18th century French chateau. It is the first national museum devoted exclusively to American illustration art. Illustration consists of original artwork created to be reproduced in books, magazines, newspapers and advertisements. ‘Golden Age’ paintings by such luminaries as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, NC Wyeth, and 75 others are displayed in ‘Gilded Age’ architecture, creating a unique union of art and architecture- a national treasure. The Museum is administered by the American Civilization Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the goal to present the best possible venue for appreciating the greatest collection of illustration art; the most American of American art.

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