Marsden Hartley (American, 1877-1943)

Hartley is a native of Maine and a pioneer of American art known for his landscape paintings engrained with influences of European modernism. He was also an influential and memorable character that many other artists enjoyed portraying and photographing, such as Peggy Bacon, George Platt Lynes, Man Ray, and Alfredo Valente.

Born in Lewiston, Hartley studied at the Cleveland School of Art and then moved to Manhattan to continue his studies. In 1909, Hartley was introduced to the influential photographer Alfred Stieglitz who arranged for Hartley’s one-man exhibition at his 291 galleries. Hartley visited Paris in 1912, where he encountered the works of Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and other French Modernists at the home of collectors such as Gertrude Stein. In 1913, he moved to Germany and became associated with Expressionist artists Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. Meeting many artists and being exposed to international works of art led to Hartley experimenting with painting styles. The Bates College Museum of Art has a wide collection of Hartley’s work and related ephemera.