Main content

Maxfield Parrish letters


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Maxfield Parrish (1870 - 1966), born Frederick Paris in Philadelphia, PA, was an American painter and illustrator.

He was raised in Quaker society. Between 1884 and 1886, he traveled Europe - England, France, Italy - with his parents and during this trip, he was exposed to European architecture and art, which inspired him to become an artist himself. In years 1888-1890, he attended Haverford College where he studied architecture, however after two years, he left and between 1892 and 1895 he furthered his education in art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. There he studied under impressionists Robert Vonnoh and Pollock Anschutz.

Parrish was active in the art industry for more than fifty years. In 1900, he became a member of the Society of American Artists (1900). He illustrated commercial books such as Arabian Nights or Poems of Childhood, worked with popular at magazines and in 1922, he produced his most famous work called Daybreak - two female figures in a landscape, which is the most popular art print of the 20th century. Most of his paintings featured androgynous nude figures and landscapes.

Parrish married Lynda Ambled Austin in 1895. They had four children together. He died at the age of 95 in Plainfield, New Hampshire.

The collection contains a series of letters written by Fred or as he was later known Maxfield Parrish, addressed to his grandma. The letters were all written in Paris and Hastings in the early 1880s. In them, Parrish describes his days and his relationship with his parents.

The letters are arranged chronologically.

Processed by Alexa Horkava, completed December 2020

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Alexa Horkava
Finding Aid Date
December, 2020
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

Collection Inventory

Letters, August 1884 - January 1885.
Box 3

Print, Suggest