Artist Trivia: John Marin

John Marin, On the Road to Addison, Maine No. 2, 1946, Oil on canvas, 23 x 29 3/4 inches, Museum purchase in Memory of Thomas Gardiner, 1995.4

Who is this artist?

This artist was born in 1870 in Rutherford, New Jersey and was raised by maternal grandparents after the early deaths of this painter’s parents.  Working for six years as an architect, the artist then studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and at the Arts Students League in New York City.  During travels in Europe the artist came to know and admire the artwork of Paul Cezanne. Alfred Stieglitz gave the painter a show at 291 in New York City and then at An American Place every year until the gallery closed. The artist drew inspiration from nature, in particular, from the Maine coastline, rendering landscapes with an expressive,  gestural quality. This artist was born more than 150 years ago on December 23rd

Who is John Marin?

John Marin was raised in New Jersey, with a strong foothold in New York City. He first worked as an architect before deciding he wanted to be an artist, early in the twentieth century. He participated in the Armory show of 1913 in New York City and made his first trip to Maine a year later. Marin was fascinated by Maine’s sea coast and landscape. He painted on an island at Small Point, and continued to paint in areas northward, including Deer Isle, later settling  with his family near Addison, on Cape Split. Over the years he made etchings, watercolors and oils inspired by the city and countryside. By 1936 when Marin received his first major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he was well regarded, and a second retrospective followed a decade later in Boston at the Institute of Modern Art (now the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). It has been noted that Marin’s paintings exhibit abstraction and representation simultaneously. His imaginative, highly personal perspective places his work among the best of American twentieth-century painters who lived and worked in Maine.

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