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2 day Symposium: Marsden Hartley 2004

Friday, November 5 – Saturday, November 6, Olin Arts Center

The Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection in the Bates College Museum of Art provides an intimate look into the life of this enigmatic modernist painter from Maine. With ninety-nine drawings, dozens of family photographs, jewelry, travel souvenirs, and ephemera, this personal archive provides a wealth of information about the artist’s life. Yet the collection raises as many questions as it answers.

On November 5 and 6, Hartley scholars will speak at a symposium organized in conjunction with the current exhibition Marsden Hartley: Image and Identity, which examines the artist’s autobiographical practices. Topics to be discussed include the construction of regional and sexual identity in Hartley’s Maine work; the reception of, and criticism around, Hartley and his modernist contemporaries; and wartime politics and the representation of the male body. A panel discussion following the lectures will bring the conversation to the present, questioning contemporary investigations into sexuality and art.

Friday, November 5, 2004
Benjamin Mays Center, 95 Russell Street
6:00 PM

Donna M. Cassidy, University of Southern Maine, Keynote speaker
“‘Yankee Queer’: Marsden Hartley’s Maine Folk and Regional/Sexual Identities”

Donna M. Cassidy is Professor of American & New England Studies and Art History at the University of Southern Maine and is presently Director of the American & New England Studies Program. She received her Ph.D. in art history with a specialization in American art from Boston University. Her articles on early twentieth-century American art (on Arthur Dove, John Marin, Marsden Hartley) have appeared in Smithsonian Studies in American Art, American Art Journal, Winterthur Portfolio, and numerous anthologies and exhibition catalogues, and she is the author of Painting the Musical City: Jazz and Cultural Identity in American Art, 1910-1940 (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997). She also served as a senior consultant for the art section of The Encyclopedia of New England Culture (forthcoming Yale University Press) and has a new book, Marsden Hartley: Region, Race, and Nation, forthcoming from the University Press of New England, spring 2005.

Museum reception to follow, Olin Arts Center.

Saturday, November 6, 2004
Olin Arts Center Room 104, 75 Russell Street
10:00 AM

Marcia Brennan, Rice University
“Marsden Hartley: Mysticism, Masculinity, and the Paradox of Oneness”

Marcia Brennan, Assistant Professor of Art History, received her Ph.D. from Brown University in 1997. She taught at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, before joining the faculty at Rice University in the fall of 2001. Her book Painting Gender, Constructing Theory: The Alfred Stieglitz Circle and American Formalist Aesthetics, was published by the MIT Press in 2001. A sequel volume entitled Modernism’s Masculine Subjects: Matisse, The New York School, and Post-Painterly Abstraction, will be published by the MIT Press in the Fall of 2004. In addition to teaching courses in twentieth century American and European art, she is a Faculty Affiliate in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender.

Randall Griffey, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
“‘Such Beautiful Idealists’: Marsden Hartley’s Brief Foray Inside a Finnish Yankee Sauna

Randall Griffey is the Associate Curator of American Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. His 1999 doctoral dissertation for the University of Kansas was entitled Marsden Hartley’s Late Paintings: American Masculinity and National Identity in the 1930s and 40s. For the recent Hartley retrospective organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Griffey contributed the catalogue essay “Encoding the Homoerotic: Marsden Hartley’s Late Figure Paintings” and served as resident curator for the exhibition’s final stop at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In 2001, his article “Marsden Hartley’s Lincoln Portraits” was published in American Art. Griffey also serves as Associate Visiting Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where he teaches courses on modern and American art.

12:00 Lunch break

1:30 Panel Discussion
Marcia Brennan, Rice University
Donna M. Cassidy, University of Southern Maine
Randall Griffey, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Erica Rand, Professor of Art and Visual Culture and Chair, Program in Women and Gender Studies

Moderated by Liz K. Sheehan, Assistant Curator of Academic and Exhibition Initiatives, Bates College Museum of Art

This program is supported in part by the Synergy fund.

Free and open to the public


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