Museum of Art shows images of, not by, renowned painter Hartley
Drawn from the Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection at Bates College, the exhibition The Painter of Maine: Photographs of Marsden Hartley opens with a reception at the Bates College Museum of Art at 7 p.m. Friday, June 12.
Opening at the same time are Points of View: New and Recent Photographs by Jay Gould, Gary Green, David Maisel and Shoshannah White and Maine Collected: Contemporary Selections from the Permanent Collection.
The Painter of Maine will be shown through Oct. 24. Bates museum exhibitions and events are open to the public at no cost. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The museum is located in the Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St.
Recognized as one of the great American modernists, Hartley was born in Lewiston, so it’s fitting that one of the Bates Museum of Art’s most notable collections is the Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection and Archive. The museum has often exhibited objects from the collection, especially from its extensive holdings of Hartley drawings.
But The Painter of Maine focuses on photographs depicting Hartley rather than art that he made. It begins with photographs of the artist as a young man, including images taken during travels in Europe and the U.S., and ends with informal images in Corea, Maine, from the early 1940s.
A second focus of the exhibition is an extraordinary series of formal images taken shortly before Hartley’s death, in 1943, by George Platt Lynes. In addition to one frequently reproduced image of Hartley at the end of his life, the series includes more than two dozen rarely seen photographs of Hartley in different poses and with a variety of props.
The exhibition also includes a fine, pensive portrait of Hartley taken around 1940 by Alfredo Valenti, an artist best known for photographing actors and actresses.
The Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection and Archive includes the last remaining effects from Hartley’s studio and home in Corea, given by his heirs to Bates in 1951. Four years later, Hartley’s niece, Norma Gene Berger, made an additional gift to the college of the artist’s belongings. The collection now holds more than 100 Hartley drawings, two small early paintings, memorabilia, ephemera including letters, personal effects and many photographs.
Read about the other summer 2015 exhibitions at the Bates College Museum of Art: