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Marsden Hartley: The Biography of an American Artist

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Marsden Hartley: The Biography of an American Artist

Current Status:
In Season
Townsend Ludington, Mardsen Hartley
Little, Brown and Company
Nonfiction, Biography

We gave it a B+

”There has been no trace of drama in my life save the inner one,” wrote the painter Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) in the mid-1930s. But that inner drama included grappling with Cubism before most Americans even knew what it was, homosexual passions that seethed beneath the surface of such abstract paintings as Portrait of a German Officer, and a love-hate relationship with his native state of Maine, finally resolved in the emotionally charged landscapes of his last years. In Marsden Hartley: The Biography of an American Artist, Ludington, author of a biography of John Dos Passos, delineates Hartley’s artistic, spiritual, and financial struggles, and chronicles his friendships with a virtual who’s who of the international avant garde: Gertrude Stein, Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Paul Klee, William Carlos Williams, and Charles Demuth. Excellent cultural history. B+