Green Sea, Rocks and Boat, Cape Split, Maine

Gift of Mari and James A. Michener, 1991

About John Marin

John Marin worked as an architect before embarking on his groundbreaking painting career. After traveling in Europe, Marin returned to America in 1910 and devoted his energies to distinctly American subject matter, particularly images of New York City and the coast of Maine. A prominent figure in Alfred Stieglitz's modernist circle, Marin participated in the 1913 Armory show, and had solo exhibitions at Stieglitz's “291” gallery. Marin worked primarily in watercolor, developing a bold, fluid style; with a distinctive blend of realism and abstraction, his paintings evoked the forces and energy of nature as well as the booming rhythms of rapidly evolving city life. “I see great forces at work; great movements…pushing, pulling, sideways, downwards, upwards, I can hear the sound of their strife and there is great music to be played," he once said. "And so I try to express graphically what a great city is doing.”

American, 1870-1953, Rutherford, New Jersey, based in New York and Cape Split, Maine