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Marsden Hartley: Adventurer in the Arts cover image
UK £45.00
US $70.00
Hardback with jacket
212 pages
215 illustrations
29 x 25 cm (11.5 x 9.75 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4667-2
Marsden Hartley: Adventurer in the Arts

Rick Kinsel, William Low and Emily Schuchardt Navratil

Marsden Hartley (1877–1943) was proud to call himself an American artist, but he dreamed of travel to Europe, believing that he would learn more there than in his home state of Maine or even in New York. His rise to prominence as a specifically American modernist was based largely on the visual influences that he encountered in 1912–15 in the vibrant cities of Paris, Berlin and Munich, which he then synthesized through a New England perspective. Solitary by nature, Hartley never lost his wanderlust, and throughout his life found inspiration in many other landscapes and cultures, including in southern France, Italy, Bermuda, New Mexico, Mexico and Canada. Marsden Hartley: Adventurer in the Arts offers a fresh appraisal of this pioneering modernist, whose work continues to be celebrated for its spirituality and experimentation. Rick Kinsel’s introduction provides an overview of the manifold ways in which Hartley’s peripatetic life shaped his artistic vision. Essays by William Low, Emily Schuchardt Navratil and Kinsel explore works and artefacts in the Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection of Bates College Museum of Art in Maine; Hartley’s love of the circus, a recurrent theme that reflected his desire for escape; and the painting Schiff, created in Berlin in 1915 with imagery from both Native American material culture and German folk art. The catalogue section, by Navratil, features over 100 paintings, drawings, photographs and postcards, arranged into six country- or state-themed chapters, with a concluding chapter on Hartley’s possessions, which – because he had no permanent home of his own – held extraordinary significance for him.


An authoritative study of Marsden Hartley’s lifelong passion for travel and its importance for the development of American modernism

With 200 illustrations of Hartley’s works and personal possessions, including full reproductions of a photograph album and a typescript

Accompanies an exhibition opening at Bates College Museum of Art, Maine, in October 2020, then travelling to New York in 2021


Published in association with the Vilcek Foundation, New York

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Author Profiles

Rick Kinsel is President of the Vilcek Foundation, where he oversees the curation, stewardship and exhibition of the foundation’s art collections. These collections include significant and comprehensive holdings in American modernism, Native American pottery, pre-Columbian objects, and more. He previously served as the Cataloguer in charge of acquisitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and as Director of Cultural Affairs at Coty, Inc. He has advised on collections and curated exhibitions for both private and public organizations, among them the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Pen + Brush, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in the history of decorative arts from Bard Graduate Center, New York. In addition to his work in the visual arts, he has produced films and plays, edited a cookbook and judged design contests. 

William Low has served as Curator at the Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston, Maine, since 2009. He has produced a range of exhibitions, from contemporary Chinese work in Xu Bing: Calligraphy for the People to American art in Andrew and Jamie Wyeth: Selections from the Private Collection of Victoria Browning Wyeth, and has contributed essays to a number of publications. He has also been instrumental in developing and providing stewardship for the museum’s collection. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree from the Center for Museum Studies at John F. Kennedy University, California. Active in the community, he serves on the boards of a number of arts and cultural organizations.

Emily Schuchardt Navratil is Curator at the Vilcek Foundation. She has worked with the Vilcek Collection since 2009, previously serving as Associate Curator, Assistant Curator and Curatorial Assistant. She earned a PhD in art history from the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY), and a master’s degree from Hunter College, CUNY. Her interests are expansive, ranging from Native American art and its impact on interior design and women’s fashion between the world wars, to Piet Mondrian and Willem de Kooning. For the Vilcek Foundation, she has curated the exhibitions With Color (2013, to coincide with the publication by Merrell of Masterpieces of American Modernism from the Vilcek Collection) and Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs (2019). She has worked in major institutions, notably the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey, and has contributed to numerous exhibitions and catalogues, including Cézanne and American Modernism (2009), Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2010) and American Vanguards: Graham, Davis, Gorky, De Kooning, and Their Circle, 1927–1942 (2012).

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