17 Items in this Learning Collection
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Northern Summer Window

Accession Number

Northern Summer Window

Marsden Hartley

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
oil on canvas

24 5/16 in. x 20 1/4 in. ( 61.8 cm x 51.5 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
March 28, 2009
Marsden Hartley was a struggling young artist with little formal training when a fateful introduction to influential gallery owner and artist Alfred Stieglitz reversed his fortunes. With assistance from Stieglitz, Hartley traveled to Europe, where he had direct exposure to the international avant-garde. Hartley fell into a deep depression upon his return to the United States in 1915 after the loss of his friend (and perhaps lover) Karl von Freyburg in World War I. Hartley continued to travel restlessly, vacillating between the stimulating environment of art centers like New York and Berlin, and remote locations where he could be alone to paint. He spent the summers of 1935 and 1936 in Nova Scotia before permanently settling in Maine; Northern Summer Window was most likely painted there. In addition to his skill as a painter, Hartley was a fine poet and writer of prose; the prominent placement of two books within the composition may be an allusion to his literary inclination.

Subject matter
One of the many paintings mixing elements of still life and landscape that Hartley did after returning to his home state of Maine in the thirties. He was fascinated with the land and lives of New England in his later years, and his works show a mix of European modernism and American regionalism.

Physical Description
A vase with flowers sits before a window, between two books that lie on a table, and framed by open red curtains. The landscape outside the window shows a blue cloud sky above a body of water.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
still life

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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flowers (plant components)
modern and contemporary art
oil painting (technique)
oil paintings (visual works)
still lifes

& Author Notes

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