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Adventurer in the Arts

Rick Kinsel, William Low, Emily Schuchardt Navratil



Marsden Hartley (1877 – 1943) was proud to call himself an American artist, but he dreamed of travel to Europe, believing that he would learn more there than in his home state of Maine or even New York. His rise to prominence as a specifically American modernist was based largely on the visual influences that he encountered in 1912 – 15 in the vibrant cities of Paris, Berlin, and Munich, which he then synthesized through a New England perspective. Solitary by nature, Hartley never lost his wanderlust, and throughout his life found inspiration in many other landscapes and cultures. Marsden Hartley: Adventure in the Arts provides a fresh appraisal of this pioneering modernism, whose work continues to be celebrated for its spirituality and experimentation. Insightful essays explore the manifold ways in Hartley’s peripatetic life shaped his artistic vision, while detailed studies of works he created in places as diverse as Provence, Nova Scotia, and Mexico are accompanied by personal photographs, postcards, and images of some of the possessions he gathered on his travels. Also included are reproductions of a photograph album that Hartley compiled, a “Color Exercises” notebook, and his typescript “Elephants and Rhinestones: A Book of the Circus.”