The Toledo Museum of Art has received a long-term loan of two works by America’s most beloved artist illustrators. The iconic paintings were lent by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, now helmed by former TMA director Don Bacigalupi.
Maxfield Parrish’s lyrical nocturne The Lantern Bearers (1908), originally created as a cover illustration for the December 10, 1910 issue of Collier’s magazine, and Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter (1943), a well-known representation of the American work ethic that provided the May 29, 1943 cover of the Saturday Evening Post, went on display in Toledo August 17.
“In the world of art today, there is a revived interest in process, virtuosic painting and craft that has inspired a reinvestigation of illustrators as artists,” said Don Bacigalupi, director of Crystal Bridges. “We are pleased to contribute to the dialog through this partnership with our colleagues at the Toledo Museum of Art.”
Widely regarded as one of the most popular American illustrators in the first half of the 20th century, Maxfield Parrish (1870 – 1966) was renowned for his idealized neo-classical imagery, meticulous craftsmanship and luminous, richly saturated colors. In The Lantern Bearers, a group of Pierrot or clown figures ascend a set of stairs.
Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter depicts a strong, capable female figure on the home front work effort during World War II. Well known for capturing idyllic, yet honest, images of American life, many of Norman Rockwell’s paintings became popular symbols of American values and turned multitudes of Americans into art enthusiasts. Both works can be seen in Gallery 1.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, currently under construction in Bentonville, Arkansas, has been a generous lender of its growing collection. Since 2005 Crystal Bridges has loaned 68 works of art to 38 institutions.