Concise, critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies
September 4, 2003
Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, ed. Marsden Hartley: American Modernist Hartford, CT: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2002. 352 pp.; 189 color ills.; 67 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (0300097670)
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT, January 17–April 20, 2003; Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, June 7–September 7, 2003; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO, October 11, 2003–January 4, 2004 . Marsden Hartley. New Haven: Yale University Press, in association with Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 2002. 352 pp. 189 color ills.; 67 b/w. $55.00 (cloth) (0300097670)
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The large retrospective devoted to the work of Marsden Hartley, organized by Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser for the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, is a delight, a sadness, and a puzzle in nearly equal measure. The delight is easy to relate.

It was thrilling to walk into the Hartford exhibition’s first gallery and face a wall of Hartley’s brightly colored, nonrepresentational paintings made in Paris and Berlin in 1912 and 1913 (cat. nos. 8–11). Their recognizable motifs—numbers, seated Buddhas, musical staves, mudras, Chinese cloud forms, uniformed horsemen—float across the canvases, divided by dark blue lines that alternatively undulate among or create crystalline divisions between them. Hartley massed his colors along these dark borders, creating areas that pulsate forward and backward, nearly always confounding any attempt to constitute a rationally ordered space. His touch is everywhere evident: fast, intent, and largely unmodified. Here is great, early-twentieth-century American modernism—bold, questioning, risk-taking, simultaneously instinctual and intellectual—on a par with Europe’s most adventurous (works of these same years by Wassily Kandinsky and Robert Delaunay come readily to mind).

Turning back to follow the exhibition’s initial chronology revealed that Hartley’s origins lay in dark, romantic landscape. Emotional intensity wells up in Storm Clouds, Maine (cat. no. 2), with extremes of tone and sharply differentiated brush techniques evoking climatic fury. The thousands of parallel, vertical touches that form the wooded hillside in this work show forth more boldly in the brightly colored series of Maine mountainsides of 1908 and 1909, in which the paint resembles nothing so much as thick, clotted woolen embroideries (Hartley’s stroke is aptly called the “Segantini stitch,” after the Swiss painter who inspired it).1 I would like to have seen more of this series of big square paintings (cat. nos. 3–4)—the subjects that initiated Hartley’s association with Alfred Stieglitz, who served as his dealer from 1909 to 1937—or the Albert Pinkham Ryder–like black landscapes that immediately followed (cat. no. 6). But the installation in this first gallery had a more important task, which was to lay out the quick and startling transformation from these dense, early works of natural scenes laden with mystical import to the bright, airy Paris and Berlin scenes of mysticism only tenuously tethered to the phenomenological world. And this it did effectively. The gallery space itself helped. High ceilinged, awash in light, with white walls and beige wainscoting that echoed the colors in the terrazzo floor, the room established a classically reserved environment against which Hartley’s paintings played, here and throughout the show’s congeries of ten almost-contiguous galleries and hallways (with changing wainscot colors and varying qualities of light).

The second gallery, filled with paintings Hartley made in Berlin from 1913 to 1915, was even more exhilarating than the first.2 Barring a few notable exceptions, Hartley reintroduced black as a dominant color, either as large shapes or as the very ground on which the other boldly colored passages sit. Whereas the Paris and earliest Berlin works seem to float and shimmer, these, in part because of their rich, pure tonalities, leap out at one—colors and shapes acting like the loud bits of a Charles Ives symphony. Georgia O’Keeffe recalled that seeing the Berlin paintings in a modestly sized gallery was “like a brass band in a small closet.”3 In Hartford, in spite of the noble scale of the room and the passing of decades, it was still possible to empathize with that visceral response to true innovation.

In these Berlin works, the bright, saturated colors in mostly abstract shapes—dots, bars, lines, circles, rings, zigzags—make reference to the outside world (Hartley called these paintings “characterizations of the ‘Moment,’ ” and noted that in them “I have expressed only what I have seen”).4 But even their interspersed words, numbers, and recognizable objects (helmets, epaulets, medals, an equestrian sculpture) give little aid in deciphering a specific subject beyond the painter’s own excitement in the colors and forms and, through the works’ titles (Painting No. 47, Berlin, for example), his appreciation of the city that opened his eyes to them.5 Only with the revelations of his biography—knowledge denied to most of his contemporary viewers—does the memorial character of the “War Motif” works become clear. Even in the “Amerika” series, with their largely symmetrical ordering and identifiable chiefs, birds, waves, and artifacts, the canvases’ extreme stylizations and graphic strength forbid the imposition of narrative.

These are wonderful paintings. Individually, colors and forms seem to move into space, forming Fernand Léger–like tubes that coalesce and dissolve into pure pattern as they are studied. The purposeful variegation of sheens across their surfaces, in those instances where there is no deforming uniform varnish layer, furthers Hartley’s visions. Some of the pictures, many of which are square, also bear their original wood frames, which he painted to extend their designs into the viewers’ space (cat. nos. 13–15, for example)—an amalgam of folk-art tradition, avant-garde decorative practice, and the high-aesthetic concerns of the Gilded Age that accurately summarized Hartley’s artistic interests of the moment. This group of pictures argues effectively for the power of nonrepresentational art—time collapsed into an enriching, if untranslatable, “moment.” As Hartley wrote in 1913: “There are sensations in the human consciousness beyond reason—and painters are learning to trust these sensations and make them authentic on canvas.”6 The joy of the room was its testimony that Hartley—“homosexual, homely, egocentric, shy, slow to develop as an artist, pious in an Emersonian-Episcopalian way, …perennially short of cash”—found and celebrated this “human consciousness” in Berlin.7 The sadness of the room and the career as a whole was that in late 1915, because of World War I, Hartley abandoned both the city and the style of object making he developed there. Nothing else in the exhibition, which covered the next three decades of his career, spoke with a comparable sense of invention and authority.

Or did they? There were certainly wonderful pictures elsewhere. The third room of the installation, for example, included three complexly colored symbolic portraits that looked as if works by Max Weber and Charles Demuth had fallen in love and produced a precociously charming family in an illiterate sign-painter’s shop (cat. nos. 24–26). The same gallery held three modestly scaled boards of “quietude and intensity” (as Hartley phrased it)8 from his “Movement” series, done in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Bermuda during the winter of 1916–17 (cat. nos. 27–29); these depicted mute-toned geometric shapes, reminiscent of design exercises in transparency and overlapping, with color and touch akin to stucco surfaces. Later, the luxuriantly blue shadows and André Derain–like pinks and greens of Landscape, Vence (cat. no. 41), or the vibrant blue strip of the loincloth and aquamarine beard worn by Madawaska—Acadian Light-Heavy (cat. no. 76), as contrasted to the electric pink of his left nipple, all signaled Hartley’s career-long success in making memorable paintings.

It was not until the final large gallery of the exhibition, however, and the concatenation of still-life paintings from 1940 and 1941, such as the extraordinary Crow with Ribbons (cat. no. 100), with such views of the sea as the instructive pairing of drawing and painting of The Lighthouse (cat. nos. 97 and 98), that the works again successfully manifested Hartley’s wholehearted engagement with subjects, forms, and materials. Here the words of Hartley’s self-composed epitaph rang true: “Here lived one who did the best he could with what there was and all in all liked the struggle.”9

But for many of the intervening works, Hartley’s quarter century of travels,10 taken in tandem with his return to realistic, albeit primitivizing, depiction, seemed to impose a distancing effect on his art.11 He wrote in 1923 of works that “are for the first time in my life—almost wholly without me in them.”12 He proudly reasserted this stance in 1928: “Personal art is for me a matter of spiritual indelicacy. Persons of refined feeling should keep themselves out of their painting.”13 This attitude did not, by and large, yield pictures that have traditionally found scholarly or market favor. Even when he later emotionally reengaged with his subjects, as in Eight Bells Folly, Memorial for Hart Crane (cat. no. 54)14 or his homage to the Mason family (cat. nos. 64–70), the paintings—to my eye—have a weighty earnestness (in spite of the Mason men’s whimsical-seeming flowers and endearingly furry paws) that keeps them from generating the radiant authority of the Berlin paintings of 1913–15 or the sheer power of the late works.

This view of high points at beginning and end with decades of searching in the middle is the standard characterization of Hartley’s career. Samuel Kootz announced as early as 1930: “Marsden Hartley’s painting has never developed into the high levels his early work promised.”15 Friend and advocate William Carlos Williams articulated the full tale in 1940.16 Barbara Haskell, who wrote the catalogue accompanying the last major, full-career retrospective for the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1980, reiterated it.17 In the past twenty-odd years, however, there have been a number of special exhibitions and publications dedicated to selected aspects of those middle years—Hartley in Mexico, Bavaria, Nova Scotia, or the American Southwest. Kornhauser is clear on the current exhibition’s mandate: to explore the high points of his “early German abstract paintings” and his “late Maine landscapes,” but to take “issue with the assumption that what came in between is of less consequence.”18 The realization of this articulated aspiration constitutes the show’s puzzle.

How ought an exhibition demonstrate that the “entire artistic output warrants a comprehensive examination” (12)? An even selection across the nearly four decades represented would be one approach. Perhaps allocating spatial equality to the various aspects of the career would help. In fact, however, the Wadsworth Atheneum’s selection of works covering the early and late years (after his return to Maine in 1937)—the traditionally accepted high points of the career—accounted for nearly 63 percent of the works in the show (66 of 106). The crucial transition to landscape in New Mexico in the late 1910s was limited to a single pastel. Only eight works represented the decade from 1920 to 1929 (which Hartley spent largely in France), and but seventeen for the years from 1930 to 1936. This was not significantly different from the proportions allocated by Haskell in 1980 (71 of 115 works for the early and late years [about 62 percent]; 28 from the years 1920 to 1936; and Haskell included two large New Mexico oils done there or in New York immediately afterward—dynamic and interesting works infused with a light-struck palette). It was also the case that the two largest, most pleasingly proportioned galleries in the suite allocated to the show in Hartford were given to the Berlin works of the mid-1910s and to the late landscapes and still-life paintings.19 So the selection of the show and its layout, in spite of a bevy of good pictures throughout, seemed to subscribe to the traditional high valuation of Hartley’s early and late career at the expense of his middle decades.

What of the catalogue, released from the pragmatics of lender and architectural intransigence? Is the book able to form questions so that Hartley’s post-1915 European and non-Maine works gain contextual power and cultural importance? Kornhauser writes of her ambition to address the art of his whole career as a unity, as well as reweighting an earlier preponderance of biographical consideration. Cultural context, the links between his paintings and his prolific and accomplished writings, the relation of preparatory to finished works, his ties to other artists European and American: all these are to be dealt with in what is to be “a definitive catalogue” (xv) on the artist.

The resulting book is indeed substantial—more than 350 large-scale pages—with ten illustrated essays by ten different authors divided from one another by colorplate sections (with basically good reproductions of the exhibited works) and with catalogue entries on the exhibition’s 106 objects (including provenance information), all framed by a chronology compiled by Amy Ellis and an index.20 The essays form the bulk of the text. The first is Kornhauser’s, which nicely traces the artist’s life and career, though it is necessarily more telegraphic than the book-length biographical studies of Hartley that have appeared in the past twenty years.21 The final essay is coauthored by Stephen Kornhauser and Ulrich Birkmaier, two conservators who usefully document the variety of Hartley’s supports, paints, varnishes, and general artistic practices throughout the career, as well as provide a note on his frames.

Then two essays, one by Patricia McDonnell and the other by Wanda Corn, focus on the artist’s early years in Berlin. McDonnell considers Hartley in the context of modernist cityscapes, Berlin’s metropolitan development, and the German capital’s military (and its related homosexual) orientation and artistic culture, creating a smart conflation of biography, sociology, history, and art history. Corn attends to the “Amerika” series, uncovering a German fascination with Native America that extends to the present, as well as revealing hierarchical and decorative structures uniting the Indian subjects with Hartley’s chosen environment. Corn’s appreciation of these eye-dazzling canvases, and her explication of the art-world politics at play in them, underlines the calculating ambition—nearly always thwarted—that permeates Hartley’s career.

Next Ellis uses the life and work of Eugene O’Neill as an armature for discussing Hartley’s Provincetown paintings of 1916,22 his Masks (1931–32, not in exhibition), and the Mason family portraits from 1938 to 1941. Jonathan Weinberg examines Hartley’s writings in and about his art, establishing the painter’s impressive literary achievement and its context. He also illuminates Hartley’s responses to Pablo Picasso’s Cubism, his fascination with mysticism, and his exploration of the nature of religious experience (particularly as set forth by William James). Along the way, Weinberg probingly reads Hartley’s Raptus (ca. 1913, not in exhibition), the symbolic portraits of 1915, and later works in which letters appear or, as with the Mason portraits, where there is a clear connection between his own writing and painting. Bruce Robertson addresses Hartley and questions of self-portraiture, autobiography, and memory, focusing on three paintings that do not initially seem to be portraits at all (Sustained Comedy [cat. no. 71], an Albrecht Dürer–like Christ [ca. 1941–43, not in exhibition], and Young Seadog with Friend Billy [1942, not in exhibition]) but that, under his persistent and eloquent unveilings, show themselves to be deeply concerned with issues of identity and self-identification. Donna M. Cassidy, exploring Hartley’s return to Maine in 1937 as an exercise in Yankee regionalism, posits his rivalry with other strong artists of the sea and touches upon the Germanophile Hartley’s positive response to National Socialism in the early 1930s.23 She also illustrates some especially fine material-culture parallels (billboards, mail-order catalogues, tourist materials) to the later Maine works.

Hartley’s homosexuality—unhidden in his lifetime, although scholars disagree on the extent to which he acted on his desires and on the degree to which he experienced reciprocal affection—is a recurring theme in all but two of the essays. Weinberg, Robertson, and McDonnell have written elsewhere on the subject at length.24 Here Randall R. Griffey tackles the subject not as a question of biography but of culture. Pondering the paintings of bathers and athletes (now all appreciated as expressions of Hartley’s yearnings for young men), he observes that in the aggressively homophobic culture in the years around 1940 these very works paradoxically gained critical approbation. Griffey argues that they were able to do so because in those years of society’s militarization there was widespread appreciation of hypermasculine male physiques. Hartley, he concludes, “encoded personal desire within public symbolism that authorized glorification of the American male, his outer rugged beauty an indexical sign of his inner strength and goodness, in other words, his Americanness” (215); that is, Hartley acted out the purloined letter.

Carol Troyen’s “The ‘Nativeness’ of ‘Primitive Things’: Marsden Hartley’s Late Work in Context” traces Hartley’s conscious, deliberate path to make an art that would “navigate between the dry intellectualism of the cubist legacy and the triviality of American Scene painting” (240). It makes for invigorating reading. Her careful accounting of Hartley as urban sophisticate enmeshed in New York’s art scene successfully reveals the complexities and gauche strengths inherent in his Dogtown, Nova Scotia, and Maine pictures. Folk art, Stieglitz-inspired modernism, old-master paintings, German contemporary art (especially that of Max Beckmann) all contributed, she demonstrates, to the power of Hartley’s late images and sensibility. Troyen’s contrasts of Hartley’s pictures to near-contemporary works by Grant Wood and Norman Rockwell augment the force of her discussion; her citation of Clement Greenberg’s grudging admiration seals the case. Her essay is important and new for Hartley studies.25

The book is handsomely and generously produced. Endnotes follow their relevant essays; if they cannot be foot-of-page notes they are at least not ghettoized at the back of the volume. The entries, useful and nicely written by Ellis, Kornhauser, Townsend Ludington, and Kristina Wilson, are, however, curiously set to the rear of the text, apart from any pictorial reference. Given the lack of any catalogue raisonné for the artist,26 the provenance information for these one-hundred-plus works is a distinct bonus (and sign of right-thinking curatorial priorities). There are minor content and editorial lapses throughout, but on the whole the mechanics of the book and its production are satisfyingly solid.27

Is it the “definitive catalogue” that Kornhauser et al. set out to achieve (xv)? No. The aspiration itself is probably beyond realization. Although the cast of writers is large and diverse in their interests, there are a few voices that seem strangely absent from the catalogue’s contributors.28 Moreover, the very structure of the book underpins a valorization of the early and late works: two individual essays and large swathes of several others are devoted to the pre-1916 works; four essays focus principally on the post-1936 works. Only a handful of pages even consider the works done in the two decades in between. In 1930 Hartley wrote that Gustave Courbet and Aristide Maillol, “chiefly Maillol,” were the dominant influences on his current work; the work of neither artist is discussed in the present text.29 The whole, nevertheless, creates the opportunity for revelatory readings of specific works and clarifying views of early-twentieth-century cultural contexts.

In spite of failing to fulfill some of its ambitious goals, the Hartley exhibition provideded the opportunity of seeing a superb gathering of works. As many of his best-known pictures are included, the scholars of American art who were too young or who were otherwise unable to see the Whitney exhibition of 1980 will be grateful for this opportunity (those who did see that show or who compare their catalogue listings will find many points of similarity in the choices made then and now).30 The accompanying book provides some singularly fine and useful essays. At the very end of his life, Hartley wrote: “I have always said that you do not see a thing until you look away from it. In other words, an object or a fact in nature has not become itself until it has been projected in the realm of the imagination. Therefore what has been retained in the mind’s eye is what lives.”31 What lives on in my mind’s eye are the sheer joy of Hartley’s Berlin paintings (among the brashest and most dynamic of any memorial works with which I am familiar) and, to use William Carlos Williams’s phrase, the “courage and passion” of the late works.

Marc Simpson
Williams College

1 Hartley, a prolific writer throughout his career, later reminisced: “Segantini, Swiss impressionistic realist, through a reproduction in Jugend, showed me how to begin painting my own Maine mountains, at Center Lovell and North Lovell, Maine. Therefore, Segantini was my first direct influence…. My next marked influence derived from contact with Albert P. Ryder through his ‘Moonlight Marine,’ shown me by N. E. Montross. I then made the acquaintance of Ryder himself, and saw ‘Macbeth’ and ‘The Tempest’ in his apartment—unforgetable [sic] experience” (quoted in Samuel M. Kootz, Modern American Painters [New York: Brewer & Warren, 1930], 40).

2 Kornhauser and Amy Ellis, in their preface to Marsden Hartley (New Haven: Yale University Press, in association with Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 2002), quote a critic from 1910 who wrote that “Marsden Hartley makes you catch your breath”; they went on to write that they “hoped that this exhibition will recreate that excitement” (xiii). This gathering of Berlin works succeeded in doing so.

3 Interview with Calvin Tompkins, 24 September 1973; quoted by McDonnell, “ ‘Portrait of Berlin’: Marsden Hartley and Urban Modernity in Expressionist Berlin,” in Kornhauser, Marsden Hartley, 40.

4 Hartley, quoted in “American Artist Astounds Germans,” New York Times, 19 December 1915, and Hartley, “Foreword by Marsden Hartley,” Camera Work, no. 48 (October 1916): 12; both quoted by McDonnell, “Portrait of Berlin,” 52–53 and 54.

5 Hartley later wrote: “In other words I am really going to try to do now what I indicated in the 1913–15 period when I swung off into space and made pictures of just shapes and movements” (to Adelaide Kunz, ca. 1932; quoted in Bruce Robertson, Marsden Hartley [New York: Harry N. Abrams, in association with National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1995], 95).

6 Hartley to Alfred Stieglitz, 28 September 1913; quoted by McDonnell, “Portrait of Berlin,” 54.

7 The catalogue of characteristics was assembled by John Updike, “A Lone Left Thing,” New York Review, 27 February 2003, 4.

8 Hartley to Carl Sprinchorn, winter 1917; quoted in Amy Ellis, “ ‘The Great Provincetown Summer’: The Impact of Eugene O’Neill on Marsden Hartley,” in Kornhauser, Marsden Hartley, 95.

9 Quoted in Robertson, Marsden Hartley, 130.

10 Barbara Haskell noted that “Hartley as an adult never occupied the same rooms for more than ten months” (Marsden Hartley, exh. cat. [New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, in association with New York University Press, 1980], 8).

11 Hartley pronounced on art—the purpose and method and intent of it—throughout his career, frequently promoting opposing points of view. See Patricia McDonnell, “Changes of Heart: Marsden Hartley’s Ideas and Art,” in Marsden Hartley: American Modern: The Ione and Hudson D. Walker Collection, exh. cat. (Minneapolis: Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, 1997).

12 To Alfred Stieglitz, 28 April 1923; quoted by Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser in “Marsden Hartley: ‘Gaunt Eagle from the Hills of Maine,’ ” in Kornhauser, Marsden Hartley, 21.

13 “Art and the Personal Life,” Creative Art 2 (June 1928): 31.

14 Peter Schjeldahl has memorably called this “the world’s best bad painting…a farrago of crude, private symbols jammed together as if their shelf life were about to expire” (“The Searcher,” New Yorker, 3 February 2003, 94).

15 Kootz, Modern American Painters, 41. He continues: “His mountains and still lifes are the result of a vision that seems to me to follow fairly well-defined paths. It is the old story of an intelligent, sensitive painter who has the taste to understand what is good in the modern movement and use it in a sound workmanlike fashion…. Hartley has been too content, or too frightened, to paint anything but acceptable pictures. As I have stated above, they are good painting, but their complete lack of any originality, their measured emotions and unfortunate elegance leave a decided want.” William Innes Homer, in 1977, more strongly opined that, after 1915, “whatever the reason, Hartley’s most important period was over” (quoted in Randall R. Griffey, “Encoding the Homoerotic: Marsden Hartley’s Late Figure Paintings,” in Kornhauser, Marsden Hartley, 208).

16 William Carlos Williams wrote in 1940 associating the work of that day and the German military paintings: “Hartley was a sensation in Berlin before the last World War with the prescience of his wild canvasses. He is a new sensation today for those with eyes who will see here another, broader and deeper prescience, full of late courage and passion” (quoted in Kornhauser, “Marsden Hartley: Gaunt Eagle,” 11).

17 “Forced by the war to return to the anti-German environment of the United States, however, Hartley lost his direction. He abandoned abstraction and spent the next two decades wandering through Europe and America, experimenting with various French-based styles…. It took Hartley nearly two decades of hesitancy to return to these roots. In his later years he went back to his native Maine and produced a group of richly toned, expressive landscapes whose spiritual grandeur equals, if not surpasses, the intensity and achievement of his German military paintings” (Haskell, Marsden Hartley, 9).

18 Kornhauser, “Marsden Hartley: Gaunt Eagle,” 12.

19 A third comparably proportioned room that fell midway through the exhibition was divided by pylons to separate the Bavarian, New England, and Nova Scotia works from each other; Eight Bells Folly, separated from the other works painted in Mexico, was the first painting you saw on approaching the gallery.

20 There is, however, no bibliography or roster of exhibitions. Updating these from the 1980 Whitney exhibition catalogue—which also included a detailed bibliography of Hartley’s published writings—would have been a useful addition to the book.

21 Haskell, Marsden Hartley (1980); Gail R. Scott, Marsden Hartley (New York: Abbeville Press, 1988); Townsend Ludington, Marsden Hartley: The Biography of an American Artist (Boston: Little, Brown, 1992); and Robertson, Marsden Hartley (1995).

22 The splendid series of Provincetown “Movement” paintings merits a more involved discussion than they receive here or in the joint catalogue entry written by Wilson. This seems especially the case if, as Wilson writes and as is certainly arguable, the “entire series of paintings…was by far the most sophisticated, avant-garde visual expression in American at the time” (300).

23 Cassidy might be a little more concerned with the close description of works: are there, for example, really “four schooners in full sail” in Birds of the Bagaduce (1939; not in exhibition) as she claims (182)? The nautical nomenclature seems worth getting right, especially given the quote from Hartley praising “that touching sense of truth and fidelity to fact” in the maritime portraits that he studied in Salem.

24 Weinberg, Speaking for Vice: Homosexuality in the Art of Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, and the First American Avante-Garde (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993); Robertson, Marsden Hartley; McDonnell, Dictated by Life: Marsden Hartley’s German Paintings and Robert Indiana’s Hartley Elegies (Minneapolis: Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, 1995).

25 It might also help scholars wrestle with the puzzle of 1930s art, that of such artists as Bernard Karfiol, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Walt Kuhn, Eugene Speicher, Maurice Sterne, and Max Weber (realists from outside the Regionalist camp or the special case of Edward Hopper) who have largely fallen from museum, academic, and commercial favor. European painters of the era are victims, too. The spiritual, primitivizing realism of Frenchman Georges Rouault, whom Hartley called “one of the grandest names of all in the modern art world,” has slipped beneath the concern of many art historians today (quoted in Robertson, Marsden Hartley, 119).

26 A catalogue of work, supervised by Gail Levin, has been under way since at least the 1980s.

27 For example: Albert Gleizes is called an American (20); the gallery-owner William Macbeth is written of as MacBeth (26); something is “finally” rather than “finely” tuned (73); underpainting “peaks” out from beneath an upper layer of paint (129); arrows are said to “project” from the eyes of a figure, although the points are buried within the skull (153–54); Movement No. 8 is claimed to have been painted in Europe (267).

28 Barbara Haskell, Gail Levin, Townsend Ludington (beyond submitting entries), Susan Ryan, and Gail Scott stand out in this regard, especially given the prevalence of citations to their writings in the book’s notes throughout.

29 “Eventually went to Europe after being impressed by Picasso, Cézanne, Courbet and Maillol, and it is now Courbet and Maillol who satisfy me most, chiefly Maillol. Spent four years in Berlin and various intervals in France. Returned to America in 1930 to escape the Americanization of Europe” (quoted in Kootz, Modern American Painters, 40). Courbet is not mentioned in the present text, and Maillol is named only once as among the artists listed as participating in an exhibition.

30 There are forty-eight works in common and many places where closely related works were chosen to stand for a given moment. In general, Haskell chose more early works and many more abstractions, whereas Kornhauser’s selection emphasized the late figural paintings and a small selection of works on paper from throughout the career, along with studio materials.

31 “Is Art Necessary?” (1942; unpublished essay quoted in Scott, Marsden Hartley, 151).

Please send comments about this review to editor.caareviews@collegeart.org.