Although Maxfield Parrish took many photographs for his illustration work, he also, on occasion, took snapshots of his family. While searching through the 83 boxes of the Papers of Maxfield Parrish at Dartmouth’s Rauner Special Collections, I found this lovely portrait of MP’s family in an old family album. Lydia seems to be seating toddler Jean next to her brothers, and Jean’s giving Daddy a look that makes it clear she is none too happy with the situation. The boys are, from left, Dillwyn, Steve, and Max Jr. Judging by the dirt on their knees and their exhausted faces, it seems the boys have been doing some serious playing. Lydia here is almost forty, and her hair seems to be starting to turn gray. The late afternoon sun is sinking just behind them.
The above image is from a glass negative, and the quality of the color is astounding, considering the photograph was taken around 1913. Lydia, looking pensive, sits next to Jean, who’s a bit older here. They’re holding hollyhock blooms.