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Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966)
Harper & Brothers (New York)
Harper's Weekly, 1897
photographic lithograph
46.7 x 35.5 cm (18 3/4 x 14 in.)
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia, The Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund and The Sydney and Frances Lewis Endowment Fund
photograph by Wen Hwa Ts'ao
© 1998 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Industrial Revolution brought technological advances in photoengraving and printing machinery, which offered designers more influence over the aesthetic quality of the printed image. Parrish's stylish poster is an example of these advances and the increased prosperity that many Americans enjoyed in the late nineteenth century. It was the combination of new technology and economic growth that fueled the poster craze of the 1890s.

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Biography of Maxfield Parrish

Maxfield Parrish was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in his native city of Philadelphia. He also studied with the renowned illustrator Howard Pyle, who was an important influence on his work. Trained as both a painter and an illustrator, Parrish became one of the East Coast's preeminent poster designers in the 1890s. In 1896 his design was awarded first place from a pool of 525 entries in the competition for the Pope Bicycle poster, and from then on, he was one of America's most frequently reproduced and prolific artists. Like so many of his contemporaries, Parrish designed posters for many book publishers. He was also successful in executing commercial commissions for such products as Colgate soap.

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