Illustrators: Grand-Pop

The pop art of 50 years ago had an attribute not shared by the pop art of today: it was popular. The most popular of the artists of that time, Maxfield Parrish, now 93, painted book illustrations and calendars that were reproduced by the millions. College boys hung his works in their rooms amidst a clutter of crew oars, fencing foils and mooseheads. From a first cover for Harper's Weekly in 1895, he painted on to become the country's best-paid artist.

Parrish's gnomes and damsels, straight out of King Arthur and tempered by romantic Pre-Raphaelite gentility, adorned the covers of...

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