This exhibition explores Marsden Hartley's complex, sometimes contradictory, and visually arresting relationship with his native state—from the lush Post-Impressionist inland landscapes with which he launched his career, to the later roughly rendered paintings of Maine's rugged coastal terrain, its hardy inhabitants, and the magisterial Mount Katahdin.
Hartley's renowned abstract German series, New Mexico recollections, and Nova Scotia period have been celebrated in previous exhibitions, but Marsden Hartley's Maine illuminates Maine as a critical factor in understanding the artist's high place in American art history. Maine served as an essential slate upon which he pursued new ideas and theories. It was a lifelong source of inspiration intertwined with his personal history, cultural milieu, and desire to create a regional expression of American modernism.
In keeping with The Met Breuer's mission to present modern art in the context of the history of art, this exhibition includes select works from The Met collection by other artists who shaped Hartley's vision, including French modernist Paul Cézanne, Japanese printmakers Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai, and American painters Winslow Homer and Albert Pinkham Ryder.
Marsden Hartley's Maine is co-organized with the Colby College Museum of Art, where the exhibition will be featured from July 8 through November 12, 2017.
The exhibition is made possible by the Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and the Jane and Robert Carroll Fund.
It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Colby College Museum of Art.
The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Charles Butt, and Laura and Robert W. Stone.
For more information about visiting Maine and the sites that inspired Hartley's work, go to visitmaine.com.
Marsden Hartley (American, 1877–1943). Canuck Yankee Lumberjack at Old Orchard Beach, Maine (detail), 1940–41. Oil on Masonite-type hardboard. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966. Photo by Cathy Carver