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Marsden Hartley's Maine

Cassidy, Donna M., Elizabeth Finch, Randall R. Griffey, with contributions by Richard Deming, Isabelle Duvernois, Andrew Gelfand, and Rachel Mustalish
2017
184 pages
194 illustrations
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Marsden Hartley had a lifelong personal and aesthetic engagement with Maine, where he was born in 1877 and where he died at age sixty-six. As an important member of the artistic circle promoted by Alfred Stieglitz, Hartley began his career by painting the mountains of western Maine. He subsequently led a peripatetic life, traveling throughout Europe and North America and only occasionally visiting his native state. By midlife, however, his itinerant existence had taken an emotional toll, and he confided to Stieglitz that he wanted “so earnestly a ‘place’ to be.” Finally returning to the state in his later years, he transformed his identity from urbane sophisticate to “the painter from Maine.” But while Maine has played a clear and defining role in Hartley’s art, not until now has this relationship been studied with the breadth and richness it warrants.

Marsden Hartley’s Maine is the first in-depth discussion of Hartley’s complex and shifting relationship to his native state. Illustrated with works from throughout the painter’s career, it provides a nuanced understanding of Hartley’s artistic range, from the exhilarating Post-Impressionist landscapes of his early years to the late, roughly rendered paintings of Maine and its people. The absorbing essays examine Hartley’s view of Maine as a place of light and darkness whose spirit imbued his art, which encompassed buoyant coastal views, mournful mountain vistas, and portraits of Mainers. An illustrated chronology provides an overview of Hartley’s life, juxtaposing major personal incidents with concurrent events in Maine’s history. For Hartley, who was strongly influenced by such artists as Paul Cézanne, Winslow Homer, and Albert Pinkham Ryder, Maine was an enduring source of inspiration, one powerfully intertwined with his past, his cultural milieu, and his desire to create a regional expression of American modernism.

Met Art in Publication

Marsden Hartley, Alfred Stieglitz  American, Gelatin silver print
1916
Northeaster, Winslow Homer  American, Oil on canvas, American
1895; reworked by 1901
Portrait of a German Officer, Marsden Hartley  American, Oil on canvas
1914
Autumn Color, Marsden Hartley  American, Oil on paperboard
ca. 1910
Landscape No. 25, Marsden Hartley  American, Oil on commercially prepared paperboard (academy board)
ca. 1908–9
The Dark Mountain, No. 1, Marsden Hartley  American, Oil on commercially prepared paperboard (academy board)
1909
Albert Pinkham Ryder, Marsden Hartley  American, Oil on commercially prepared paperboard (academy board)
1938
The Dark Mountain, No. 2, Marsden Hartley  American, Oil on commercially prepared paperboard (academy board), mounted to slatted wood board
1909
Still Life—Flowers and Fruit in White and Pink Bowl, Oil on glass, tinsel, American
American
1840–60
Moonlight Marine, Albert Pinkham Ryder  American, Oil and possibly wax on wood panel, American
1870–90
Lobster Fishermen, Marsden Hartley  American, Oil on hardboard (masonite)
1940–41
Study for "Lobster Fishermen", Marsden Hartley  American, Pastel on paperboard
1940
Wisconsin Landscape, John Steuart Curry  American, Oil on canvas
1938–39
Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley, Paul Cézanne  French, Oil on canvas
1882–85
Numazu, Number 13, from the series Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō (Tōkaidō gojūsan tsugi), Utagawa Hiroshige  Japanese, Woodblock print, Japan
1847–52
Mount Katahdin, Autumn, No. 2, Marsden Hartley  American, Oil on canvas
1939–40

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Cassidy, Donna, Elizabeth Finch, Randall R. Griffey, Richard Deming, Isabelle Duvernois, Andrew P. Gelfand, Rachel Mustalish, and Marsden Hartley. 2017. Marsden Hartley’s Maine. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.