Martin Johnson Heade: The Enigmatic Self
by Barbara Novak
About the Catalogue
Martin Johnson Heade: A Survey, 1840-1900 by Barbara Novak and Timothy A. Eaton contains 80 pages with 30 color plates and 6 black and white illustrations. ISBN: 096558190X.
Dr. Barbara Novak's 1996 essay examines Heade's enigmatic
and iconoclastic character, how it shaped his life and affected his place
in American art history. Timothy A. Eaton reviews each work in the exhibition
and its relationship to Heade's oeuvre. (right: photo of front cover
of catalogue, courtesy Eaton Fine Art. Image is detail from Study of
an Orchid, 1872, oil on canvas, 18 x 23 inches, signed and dated lower
right, 1872. Collection of the New York Historical Society)
Preface from the Catalogue
As a subject of critical study, Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904) will always remain elusive. He was under- appreciated during his lifetime, forgotten in death, and rediscovered four decades later, yet today he is finally recognized as one of the most important artists America has ever produced. This exhibition and catalogue briefly survey Heade's long and diverse career, yet it is by no means inclusive of all his subjects or periods. Ever since a reevaluation of his career began in 1944, the path to understanding his work and life has been fraught with difficulty. His history continues to be vague: he was an artist who wrote often and copiously, but seldom about his own work or himself; he was a non-joiner at a time when membership in guilds, associations and schools of art were coveted and nearly requisite for success and documentation; and he was a somewhat peripatetic character, making shallow roots and taking a home only in the last quarter of his life. This is the chronicle of a legacy riddled with questions and conjecture. M.J. Heade's history will continue to be researched, his philosophical and aesthetic concerns speculated on, and through his work his character will be examined and slowly revealed; he will, nevertheless, remain enigmatic. His life and art retain, as they should, the inscrutable mysteries of the creative impulse.
-- TAE (Timothy A. Eaton)
About the Authors:
Resource Library editor's note:
This essay was rekeyed and reprinted on February 14, 2005 in Resource Library with permission of Eaton Fine Art, Inc. The essay was excerpted from the illustrated catalogue for the exhibition Martin Johnson Heade: A Survey: 1840 -1900 held December 20, 1996 - February 22, 1997 at Eaton Fine Art, West Palm Beach, FL. Images accompanying the text in the exhibition catalogue were not reproduced with this reprinting. If you have questions or comments regarding the essay, or if you are interested in obtaining a copy of the catalogue, please contact Eaton Fine Art at either this web address or phone number:
Resource Library wishes to extend appreciation to Mr. Richard Frank, Director, Eaton Fine Art, Inc., for help concerning permission for reprinting the above text
Regarding the above essay, on April 4, 2009 Eaton Fine Art sent to TFAO an email that states:
Date: Sat Apr 4, 2009 6:46:06 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Joseph Stella: Flora
I would like to include an errata for our Joseph Stella catalogue listing. On page two of four of the Barbara Novak essay "The Flower Paintings of Joseph Stella," the first paragraph, fifth sentence, "Berlin born Stieglitz" should read "Berlin educated Stieglitz."
Thank you in advance for adding this errata straightaway.
Nichole M. Hickey
Eaton Fine Art, Inc.
435 Gardenia Street
West Palm Beach, Florida 33041
Telephone: 561 833 4766
Telecopie: 561 833 3134
Resource Library readers may also enjoy these articles concerning Martin Johnson Heade:
and these books:
Robert George McIntyre, Martin Johnson Heade, 1819-1904 (Pantheon Press, 1948, ASIN: B0007DNL8I)
--, Martin J. Heade, 1819-1904: As represented in the M. & M. Karolik Collection of American Painting, 1815-1865 (Museum of Fine Arts, 1955, ASIN: B0007F1ISQ)
--, Martin Johnson Heade; [exhibition, organized by the Art Dept., University of Maryland (Art Dept., University of Maryland, 1969, ASIN: B0006CY75G)
Theodore E. Stebbins,Jr., The Life and Works of Martin Johnson Heade (Yale University Press, 1975)
--. Martin Johnson Heade: [exhibition] Flagler Museum, February 7-28, 1981, Cummer Gallery, March 12-May 3, 1981, (Cummer Gallery of Art, 1981, ASIN: B00070XUCS)
--, Martin Johnson Heade: The floral and hummingbird studies from the St. Augustine Historical Society (Boca Raton Museum of Art, 1992, ASIN: B0006OYGT6)
Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. et. al., Martin Johnson Heade (Yale University Press; 1st ed edition, 1999, ISBN: 0300081693,)
Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. et. al., The Life and Work of Martin Johnson Heade: A Critical Analysis and Catalogue Raisonné (Yale University Press, 2000, ISBN: 0300081839). Google Books ofers limited preview and says about this book:
Roberta Smith Favis, Martin Johnson Heade in Florida (University Press of Florida, 2003, ISBN: 081302661X
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