The Art of Marsden Hartley
Even among the greatest American artists, Marsden Hartley holds a special place. Influences of the groundbreaking American Modernist include Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse. But his greatest influence was the special place where he was born and grew up – and to which he returned permanently later in life to become, in his own words, The Painter of Maine.
Born in Lewiston, Maine in 1877, Marsden Hartley displayed a rare artistic talent and a powerful intellectual and spiritual curiosity. While attending the National Academy of Design in New York, he was drawn to the transcendental works of Thoreau and Emerson, and the self-realized poetry of Walt Whitman.
A merging of the artistic and the spiritual would infuse his work – from Paris and Berlin to New Mexico and California. And, in his ultimate homecoming, Maine where Mount Katahdin would have a special pull on Hartley, reflected in multiple paintings of the iconic landmark. Maine’s visceral rocky coast and mystical islands were favorite subjects as well.
For an artful and transcendental day trip, consider exploring any of the fascinating places he painted:
- Penobscot Bay
- Vinalhaven and Hurricane Island
- Georgetown and Fox Island
- The Schoodic Peninsula
- The Maine woods
- Camden Hills from Baker’s Island
- Lovell and Kezar Lake
- Robin Hood Cove
- And, of course, the place that called his soul like no other – Mount Katahdin.