Heckscher Museum of Art

Huntington, Long Island, NY

(516) 351-3250



Marsden Hartley: Drawings

March 21, 2000 - May 28, 2000


"If one is looking for the essential Hartley, in the drawings one can begin to discern the outlines of the artist." - Dr. Bruce Davidson, professor of the history of art and architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


The Heckscher Museum of Art presents the first exhibition in more than 20 years which focuses on drawings by Marsden Hartley. This intimate exhibition of works by the great American modernist was organized by Kraushaar Galleries, Inc. of NYC and spans the artist's career. Works on view encompass examples of Hartley's earliest efforts, as an impoverished young man in Maine around 1908, to more mature works created during visits to the Bavarian Alps and Nova Scotia during the 1930s. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Born in Maine in 1877, Marsden Hartley was raised in Ohio and moved on to New York in 1899 to study with William Merritt Chase and at the National Academy of Design. From 1900 on, his summers were spent in Maine. During the early years of the century Hartley began to experiment with modern techniques, his drawings taking on a distinctive, excited, curved line.

Impressed by this new work, Alfred Stieglitz, owner of the famed avant-garde gallery, 291, gave Hartley his first one-man show in 1909. Through this showing at 291, Hartley came to be associated with the Stieglitz "group" whose other members included Arthur G. Dove, Alfred Henry Maurer and John Marin.

Stieglitz helped finance Hartley's first European trip during which the artist was influenced by Cubism and by German Expressionism. Much of his later work incorporated elements of these two divergent styles.

Hartley's overseas wanderings, which continued through the early 1930s, included a stay in the Bavarian Alps which is reflected in many drawings and paintings which reflect the artist's fascination with the area's mountaineous landscape. In 1935 Hartley moved to Nova Scotia, then to Maine and for the rest of his life divided his time between New York City and Lewiston, Maine where he was born. He died in 1943. (right: Garmisch-Partenkirchen #1, 1933-34 oil on paperboard)

Along with Marsden Hartley's drawings, the Heckscher exhibition will include a Hartley painting from the Museum's permanent collection and some from the holdings of private collectors. The added works include Garmisch-Partenkirchen #1, a 1933-34 oil on paperboard, and Blue Landscape, a 1933 pastel on paper. (left: Blue Landscape (Garmisch-Partenkirchen ), 1933, pastel on paper)

Marsden Hartley: Drawings opens at the Heckscher on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 and remains on view through Sunday, May 28, 2000.

rev. 3/14/00

You may also enjoy our prior articles: Marsden Hartley: American Modern (3/17/99) and Marsden Hartley: Selected Works


Read more in Resource Library Magazine about the Heckscher Museum of Art.

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 10/18/10

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