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 Anne Bogardus Parrish  (1878 - 1966)

About: Anne Bogardus Parrish


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Lived/Active: New Hampshire      Known for: sculptress-portrait

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Alma Gilbert-Smith, Director of the Cornish Museum in Cornish, New Hampshire:

Anne Bogardus Parrish (1878-1966)

"Miss Anne Bogardus Parrish, 88 died Sunday at a local nursing home. She lived as a companion and housekeeper with Stephen Parrish, a famous etcher and father of Maxfield Parrish, noted American illustrator and artist. Maxfield Parrish died last spring in Plainfield. Miss Parrish was a sculptor."

This obituary composed by Maxfield Parrish, Jr, her executor and inheritor appeared in the Valley News in Lebanon, New Hampshire October 24, 1966. The little epitaph, concentrating more on the lives of her illustrious cousins and dismissing her own life as a sculptor in the Cornish Colony by mentioning it as almost a throwaway line after her description as a "companion and housekeeper" says more about the writer that the woman he's supposed to be eulogizing. "Companion and housekeeper" were the same terms that her younger cousin, Max Jr., used to describe another woman, Sue Lewin. Susan lived with Maxfield Parrish for over fifty years and was the model throughout his career for the bulk of his figurative work.

Anne Parrish, indeed was the companion of her elderly cousin, Stephen Parrish, Maxfield's father. She came to Cornish as a young and extremely beautiful and talented woman of twenty-one just shortly after her graduation from Swathmore College in 1899. Elizabeth Bancroft Parrish, Stephen Parrish's wife had left him suddenly and moved to California. Anne was asked to assume the duties of caretaker for her elderly cousin who adored the young beauty.

At the urgings of Stephen, Anne posed for a bas relief done by Frances Grimes, Augustus Saint-Gaudens chief assistant. This led to a friendship between the two women and Anne began taking sculpture lessons from Frances. She proved to be adept and talented and Stephen built her a small sculpture studio behind his more elaborate one in his beautiful home of Northcote in Cornish, NH. Although her output was small, the pieces were rapidly acquired by other members of the Cornish Colony. Her life of artistry subjugated to the devotion of caring for the elderly Stephen (as well as the love affair of her more famous cousin Maxfield Parrish with his model Sue Lewin), was fictionalized by another cousin, the award winning writer Anne Corliss Titzell Parrish (1888-1957) in her 1929 book "The Methodist Faun. "

After Stephen Parrish's death, Anne Bogardus Parrish inherited Northcote. She continued to sculpt, promote women's rights and participate in the social, artistic and political life of the Colony until her death in 1966. She, like Maria Oakey Dewing, left very few pieces held by descendants of the Cornish Colony. She is buried at the Chase Cemetery next to her friend and teacher, Frances Grimes. Stephen Parrish was buried at her feet.

Unfortunately, many biographical encyclopedias mix up the dates and accomplishments of Anne Bogardus Parrish with those of her literary cousin, Anne Corliss Titzell Parrish. Today several area museums have been searching for Anne Bogardus Parrish's sculptures to display. She is currently being exhibited at the Cornish Colony Museum in Cornish, NH.

There are two photos of Anne Parrish in her studio taken by Stephen Parrish in the Dartmouth Special Collections file donated by the former owners of the Stephen Parrish house. One of them is Anne outside of her little sculpture studio painting the walls, the other one shows both studios, Stephen's large painting studio, and Anne's smaller sculpture studio with its own kiln, next to it.

She and her work will be highlighted in the upcoming book by Alma Gilbert: The Women of the Cornish Colony. Currently, the following books and articles specifically mention Anne Bogardus Parrish:

"Reminiscences". Grimes, Frances. Typescript property of Baker Library, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.

Footprints of the Past. Colby, Virginia Reed and Atkinson, James. 1996. New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, NH

Choice White Pines and Good Land. 1991. Edited by Philip Zea and Nancy Norwalk. Philip Read Memorial Library, Plainfield, NH

Anne Parrish: The Story of Two Lives. Gilbert, Alma M. 1998. Alma Gilbert Inc. Publishing, Plainfield, NH

A Place of Beauty. Gilbert, Alma M. and Tankard, Judith B. 2000. Tenspeed Press, Berkeley, CA


Biography from Cornish Colony Museum:
Born in Philadelphia.  Cousin to Maxfield and Stephen Parrish.  Moved to Cornish, New Hampshire right after her graduation from Swarthmore College in 1899 to care for Stephen Parrish whose wife had just left him.  Stephen encouraged Ann’s interest in sculpture and built her a small studio in his home Northcote in Cornish.  Here she studied under her friend Frances Grimes.

Grimes executed a bas-relief of Ann in 1905, which she traded for one of Stephen Parrish paintings.  Ann modeled a number of small portrait heads many of which appear to be lost.  Despite her beauty and intelligence, Ann chose not to marry. She inherited Northcote after Stephen’s death.  She is buried in Cornish close to her friend, Frances Grimes.

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Anne Parrish is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Cornish Colony

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