Maxfield Parrish print

"With Trumpet and Drum," a vintage print by Maxfield Parrish.

Courtesy photo

A private collector is sharing some rare, vintage prints by Maxfield Parrish at Montana Art and Framing this month.

Parrish, who was born in 1870 and died in 1966, was at one point the most popular painter in the country.

He was known for his fantastical scenes and rich colors, as evidenced by a "Parrish Blue" named after him.

Do you want to paint reality, or paint reality better than it is? asked Don Mundt, owner of Montana Art and Framing.

"If you really look at them, they're very contrived and staged," Mundt said, but Parrish was the master of concocting a dramatic scene.

Parrish was active at the dawn of the chromolithographic era, when images could be mass produced for the public. Accordingly, Parrish's work was available in calendars, magazines and in poster form.

The collector has about 14 prints that will go on display, which vary in content from a "Mother Goose" and "Pied Piper" to pastoral scenes in forests and mountaintops.

Mundt, who said Parrish helped inspire him to be an artist, said the selection doesn't feature many of Parrish's most popular images, and includes many that he'd never seen before.

"With Trumpet and Drum" depicts a drum corps of young men, surrounded by huge billowing American flags. Mundt said he'd never seen Parrish do anything so patriotic

There will be a second Friday opening on Jan. 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Montana Art and Framing, 709 Ronan St.

Call 541-7100 for more information.

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