The Dinkey-Bird, c. 1904
Signed, lower right: M . P21 x 15 1/2 in. (P-056-91)
Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966) was one of the most successful and original American painters and illustrators of the early twentieth century, a period that has since become known as the “Golden Age of Illustration.” For sixty-five years Parrish worked in widely varied fields—book and magazine illustration, posters and advertisements, painting, and murals—rendering the realm of the imagination with sharp-focus realism. Edward Bok (1863–1930) commissioned Parrish to illustrate poems by Eugene Field (1850–95) in Bok’s Ladies Home Journal. They then appeared in Poems of Childhood (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1904). Shortly thereafter, The Dinkey Bird was bought by multimillionaire Henry Russell Sage (1816–1906). It was stored away and forgotten for decades until a Sage grandchild discovered it.