Maine artist, Marsden Hartley’s renowned abstract German series, New Mexico recollections, and Nova Scotia period have been celebrated in previous exhibitions, but Marsden Hartley’s Maine illuminates Maine as a critical factor in understanding the artist’s high place in American art history. Maine served as an essential slate upon which he pursued new ideas and theories. It was a lifelong source of inspiration intertwined with his personal history, cultural milieu, and desire to create a regional expression of American modernism.

Marsden Hartley's Maine
Harley’s “Mt. Katahdin (Maine), Autumn #2,” 1939–1940.

The exhibition, organized by the Colby College Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, will explore Marsden Hartley’s complex, sometimes contradictory, and visually arresting relationship with his native state—from the lush Post-Impressionist landscapes with which he launched his career, to the later roughly rendered paintings of Maine’s rugged coastal terrain, its hardy inhabitants, and the magisterial Mount Katahdin.

Marsden Hartley's Maine
“Lobster Fisherman,” 1940–41, demonstrates Harley’s appreciation for the people of Maine.

After an extremely successful run at The Met Museum in New York City, the exhibition takes up residence in both the upper and lower Jette Galleries at the Colby Museum of Art from July 8–November 12, 2017. The museum’s collection comprises over 8,000 works including pieces by such celebrated American artists such as Hartley, John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, and Georgia O’Keeffe.