An abstracted seascape that includes appropriated references to Native American culture (viewed through a European lens), a bright palette, and an emphasis on pattern and symmetry. A winged sun hangs above a canoe on the water, which includes an abstracted headdress suggesting a figure. Green and red forms rise from the bottom of the composition, set against four rows of water that lighten in color as they reach the canoe. The painting retains its original frame, painted by Hartley.
Schiff is part of Hartley’s Amerika series, which in addition to the small set that includes Berlin Series No. 1, 1913, also comprises at least six large paintings done in 1914–15. The overall composition of Schiff reads as an abstracted and simplified version of Indian Fantasy, 1914, in the North Carolina Museum of Art.
Wolfgang and Charlotte Wachsmuth Harlan, Weimar, Germany, April 1915;
Dr. Hans Hasso von Veltheim, Ostrau, Sachsen-Anhalt. Germany, before 1929;
The Soviet Military Administration in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, confiscated 1945;
Museum Stiftung Moritzburg, Halle, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, January 1954;
Restituted to the grandson of Dr. Hans Hasso Baron von Veltheim, 2014;
Private Collection, 2014;
[Jonathan Boos, New York, NY];
Halle. Moritzburg Museum. 1962.
Halle. Moritzburg Museum. c. 1985.
Halle. Moritzburg Museum. 2003.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. Marsden Hartley: The German Paintings, 1913-1915. April 3-June 29, 2014, pp.149-156, 205, ill. p. 94.
Humlebaek, Denmark. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. MarsdenHartley. September 19, 2019-January 19, 2020.
Lewiston, ME. Bates College Museum of Art. Marsden Hartley: Adventurer in the Arts (September 20-November 19, 2021); New York. The Vilcek Foundation (March 10-June 16, 2023).
Levin, Gail. “Marsden Hartley’s ‘Amerika’: Between Native American and German Folk Art,” American Art Review, vol. v, no. 2 (Winter 1993).