A still-life painting featuring a seated figure carving, a jar from Acoma Pueblo, and a double-spouted jug from Santa Clara Pueblo arranged behind a book or box in the foreground. The palette features muted reds, browns, and blacks that appear sketchily painted in places. The close-up view of the arrangement does not provide any additional context for the setting.
It’s been suggested that the seated figure is a Kwakwaka’wakw wooden carving but it more closely resembles a Tesuque Rain God figure, which are generally seated and holding something in front of them, as in this example in the American Museum of Natural History. If Hartley encountered the group in a museum, which makes sense since he did not travel to the Southwest until 1918, the Tesuque figure seems more likely, given the preference for regional arrangements of ethnological objects in museums at the time.
[E. Weyhe, New York];
Mr. and Mrs. Hudson D. Walker;
Gift to the La Jolla Museum of Art, CA, 1974-81;
[Christie’s New York, April 24, 1981, lot 133];
[M. Knoedler and Company, New York, NY];
[Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM];
Private Collection, Texas;
Private Collection, New Mexico;
[Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY];
Boston. Shore Studio Gallery. Marsden Hartley. March 7-24, 1962, cat. no. 6.
La Jolla, California. Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Selections From The Permanent Collection. July 18-August, 19, 1979.
La Jolla, California. Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. The Permanent Collection. June 8-September 7, 1980.
Dallas. Dallas Museum of Art. Visions of the West: American Art from Dallas Collections. September 28-November 30, 1986, p. 55, cat. no 32.
Santa Fe. Gerald Peters Gallery. Objects of Desire: Modern American Still Life Painting. June 25-July 24, 2004.
Santa Fe. Gerald Peters Gallery. Santa Fe Art Colony. August 25-September 23, 2006, p. 32, ill. p. 57, pl. 32.
Tulsa. Philbrook Museum of Art. From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection (February 8-May 3, 2015); Phoenix. Phoenix Art Museum (June 5-September 6, 2015); Santa Fe. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (September 25, 2015-January 10, 2016).
Lewiston. Bates College Museum of Art. At Home and Abroad: Works from the Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection. June 9-October 7, 2017.
Lewiston, ME. Bates College Museum of Art. Marsden Hartley: Adventurer in the Arts. September 20-November 19, 2021.
Elizabeth McCausland Papers, Marsden Hartley Catalogue Raisonné: Oils, circa [1944-1964]. Box 13, Folder 45, Frames 23, 25-18, ill. 23. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Levin, Gail. “Wassily Kandinsky and the American Avant-Garde, 1912-1950,” PhD dissertation, Rutgers University, 1976, pp. x, 86, ill. fig. 25.
Levin, Gail. “Marsden Hartley, Kandinsky, and Der Blaue Reiter,” Arts Magazine 52, no. 3 (November 1977): 156-160, ill. p. 156, fig. 2.
Tashjian, Dickran. “Marsden Hartley and the Southwest: A Ceremony for Our Vision, A Fiction for the Eye,” Arts Magazine 54, no. 8 (April 1980), p. 128.
Haskell, Barbara. Marden Hartley. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, in assoc. with New York University Press, 1980, pp. 27, 139, n56, ill. p. 27, fig. 23.
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art Collection. Christie’s New York. American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture of the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. April 24, 1981, p. 90, lot 133, ill. p, 90.
Broder, Patricia Janis. The American West: The Modern Vision. Boston: Little, Brown, 1984, pp. 134-136, ill. p. 132.
Levin, Gail. “American Art,” in William Rubin, Primitivism in 20th Century Art. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1984, pp. 456-457, 469 n23, ill. p. 456.
Scott, Gail R. Marsden Hartley’s Native Amerika,” in Marsden Hartley. New York: Abbeville Publishers, 1988, pp. 37-38, ill. p. 38, fig. 26.
Rushing, W. Jackson. Native American Art and the New York Avant-Garde. Austin: University of Texas, 1995, pp. 55-56, ill. p. 55, fig. 3-11.
Whitney, Catherine. “Occult Objects of Desire, Faith and Despair: Marsden Hartley’s Private Language of the Still Life 1910-1914 and 1929-1943,” MA thesis, University of Maryland, 1995, pp. vi, 41, ill. p. 101, fig. 8.
Udall, Sharyn. Contested Terrain: Myth and Meanings in Southwest Art. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996. p. 78.
Weber, Bruce. The Heart of the Matter: The Still Lives of Marsden Hartley. New York: Berry-Hill Gallery, 2003, pp. 22-23, ill. p. 22, fig. 13.
Corn, Wanda M. “Marsden Hartley’s Native Amerika,” in Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, ed. Marsden Hartley. Hartford: CT: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2003, pp. 72-73, ill. p. 72, fig. 2.
Kornhauser, Elizabeth Mankin. “Marsden Hartley and Folk Art,” Antiques Magazine (January 2003), pp. 153-154.
Cassidy, Donna M. Marsden Hartley: Race, Region, and Nation. Durham and Lebanon, NH: University of New Hampshire and University Press of New England, 2005, pp. 172-173, ill. p. 172, fig. 6.1.
Property from a distinguished European Collection. Christie’s New York. Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. May 21, 2008, in essay for lot 16, Lighthouse, April 1915.
Fauth, Katja. Modernist Visions in Taos: Mabel Dodge Luhan and the Artists of the Stieglitz Circle. Marburg: Tectum, 2009, p. 98, ill. p. 129, fig. 4.
Carolyn and Roger Horchow Collection. Sotheby’s New York. American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. May 19, 2010, in Gail Scott essay for lot 9, Berlin Series, No. 1, c. 1913.
Agee, William C. and Lewis Kachur. Masterpieces of American Modernism: From the Vilcek Collection. London: Merrell, 2013, pp. 48-49, 104, 266, ill. p. 49.
O’Hern, John. “Modern Manor,” American Fine Art Magazine, September/October 2013, p. 64, ill. p. 62.
Watts Jr., James D. “Modern masterworks: Philbrook exhibit brings American masters to Tulsa,” Tulsa World, February 12, 2015, ill.
Walz, Johnathan Frederick, “’What I Have Done with Where I Have Been’: Some Queer American Modernists and the Rural Experience,” in Amanda C. Burdan et al., Rural Modern: American Art Beyond the City (New York: Skira Rizzoli 2016), 128.