What Inspired Famous Artist Maxfield Parrish? (See Photos)


Maxfield Parrish, considered one of the most popular American artists of the 20th century, used to have a saying: 

“My property is located in New Hampshire, but the best thing about it is the view of Vermont."

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Take a look at the dramatic view of Mount Ascutney below, and you can see what Parrish was talking about. 

Parrish named his property “The Oaks." It's 45+ acres in Plainfield, NH where he created the work that brought him to fame.

Parrish's property is on the market, listed by Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group in its entirety for the first time in more than 30 years.




True to its name, the property's winding drive is dotted with giant oak trees - one of which could be the oldest in the state.






Parrish worked with a local contractor to build his house around the mountains and trees.

Parrish loved his property - not only because of the mountain views - but also because it was close to his family. Parrish used to be proud that he could see the lights of his father's house from his house, according to longtime Plainfield librarian Nancy Norwalk.

Parrish lived on the property until he died. 


Photo courtesy the archives of Alma Gilbert

"Old White Birch" sold in 2016 for $1,025,000. 


Parrish's style of artwork changed throughout his life. At one point in his career, he declared:
"From now on, I’m going to do only what I really love to do, which is paint landscapes. And I have magnificent landscapes to inspire me."
Alma Gilbert, who formerly owned a portion of the Parrish estate and even operated it as a museum at one point, said Parrish created his best work after he made that switch.


Parrish's painting below has sold twice at an auction for $5,234,000 and $7,632,000 respectively, said Gilbert. The painting doesn't look too much different from this mountain view above.

"Daybreak,." Photo courtesy the archives of Alma Gilbert


Below is an example of one of Parrish's different styles of artwork.


Photo courtesy of the archives of Alma Gilbert



Today, Parrish's studio has been renovated and restored by the current owner/architect in order to maintain many of the property's original features, like the coffered ceiling, archways, and abundant light.

The property has many unique features—including the archways, reflecting pools, and mature landscaping.

Check out some more photos:



To the townsfolk, Parrish was just a regular guy during his lifetime, said Norwalk, the Plainfield librarian, and that's the way Parrish wanted it.
If someone did something for Parrish, he thanked them by giving them a signed print, said Norwalk. He also invited people to his home for viewings of his artwork.
Sometimes he gave more significant gifts.
Parrish liked the bank tellers at what's now People’s United Bank in Windsor so much that he gave them a painting, which still hangs there.

Parrish was also fascinated by machinery. He made wooden urns and vases and models of houses right in his art studio.
At one time, Parrish designed a stage set for children’s plays, which is still used for school programs in Plainfield. 

Gilbert said she hopes that the states of New Hampshire and Vermont team up and buy Parrish's property together.

"It's a national treasure,” she said.

See more details about the property here: https://www.theoaksnewhampshire.com

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