Review: Maxfield Parrish and the American Imagists, by Laurence and Judy Cutler, and the NMAI

Rating: 4.75 stars

Click Here to Buy it on Amazon

For this entry, the second in The Bookshelf, I wanted to review another book on the Golden Age of Illustration that I've had for a while. I bought it at Borders in 2011 (deciding to splurge because they were going bankrupt and liquidating their merchandise.) At the time, I had a business re-publishing Golden Age illustrated books, (pretty ironic, considering the circumstances under which I got this one.)

Anyway, my thoughts are these: first off, I've got to hand it to the Cutlers for producing a superb edition that, even nine years later, I'm still quite proud to own. As I would later discover, (purely by accident,) the Cutlers are in charge of the National Museum of American Illustration (NMAI) in Newport, Rhode Island. Managing that kind of museum, you would expect them to have a wealth of knowledge relating to the subject, and this book clearly shows that they do.

The information contained in this book is certainly worth its weight in gold, and for those who enjoy books like these for their visual content, there is definitely an abundance of images to feast your eyes on. Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about:

As the name implies, the emphasis of this book is on Maxfield Parrish, and while I am very pleased that they included information about other Golden Age illustrators, I personally found it to be a bit superfluous since they could have easily made the whole book about Parrish and his work. (But, at least in my case, the brief section on the other illustrators was a vital selling point, since my interest in Parrish was never great enough to justify this type of purchase on its own.)

Altogether, however, I would say this is definitely a worthwhile addition to the library of any Golden Age enthusiast, particularly those who enjoy the work of Maxfield Parrish.


As a side note, you can learn more about The National Museum of American Illustration here. I've never been there, but I've heard many good things about it, and have been meaning to visit for a while.

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