Marsden Hartley
American, 1877-1943
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Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions
2016
This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today,
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Making Modern: The Lane Collection: O’Keeffe, Sheeler, Dove,
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
When Modern Was Contemporary: Selections from the Roy R. Neuberger Collection,
American Federation of Arts

A seminal modernist and member of Alfred Stieglitz’s groudbreaking circle, Marsden Hartley painted easel-sized landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and abstract compositions based on pre-World War I German military paraphernalia and medals. He was deeply attached to nature, and his solidly painted forms evoke a primordial geologic power and poetic sense of isolation that transcends observed reality. Exaggerated form, strong outline and flattened space are among Hartley’s signature strategies. During his peripatetic life he painted many of the places he visited, including Maine, Paris, Germany, Mexico, New York, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Cape Cod, Gloucester, Nova Scotia, Bermuda, and the south of France. Although working primarily in oil, Hartley also produced a number of pastels over the course of his career and experimented with painting directly on glass.