Gerry Boyle, Editor Colby Magazine

Gerry Boyle ’78
Managing Editor
Colby Magazine

Following in the Footsteps of “the Painter from Maine”

It was a truly remarkable feat.

A child born to immigrants in a Maine mill town, whose mother died when he was young, who left school at 15, goes on to become one of the most important American artists of the 20th century.

Marsden Hartley left his indelible mark on the art world, traversing America, absorbing influences in Europe, joining the ranks of the greatest modernist painters of his time—and creating a vision of Maine that resonates powerfully to this day.

Witness Marsden Hartley’s Maine, organized by the Colby College Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened at Colby July 7 after a successful stay at The Met Breuer in New York. The exhibition, which will remain at Colby until Nov. 12, 2017, is stunning—made even more so by the fascinating story of Hartley himself.

Colby Magazine marked this event by producing a film about Hartley, The Painter from Maine. Colby video journalist and filmmaker Milton Guillen ’15 and I retraced Hartley’s artistic steps through Maine, from Lewiston to the western mountains to Katahdin Lake to the village of Corea on the Downeast Coast. We interviewed the foremost experts on Hartley and his work, including artist Alex Katz, a Hartley collector and admirer, and the Colby museum’s own Elizabeth Finch, Lunder Curator of American Art.

What emerged was a story of Hartley’s tireless determination to become a skilled artist, the emergence of his singular vision, and his wish to be remembered for his art. Despite formidable obstacles, he succeeded in that quest, and Colby Magazine is proud to play a small part in keeping his legacy alive.

Film Extra: Alex Katz

Interviewed in his New York studio, the renowned artist discusses Hartley’s imagination and influence.


Film Extra: Official Trailer

The first look at “The Painter from Maine.”


Reviews and acclaim for “Marsden Hartley’s Maine”

New York Times, “‘Marsden Hartley’s Maine,’ His Muse, First and Last”

Boston Globe“The wonders of ‘Marsden Hartley’s Maine’”

New York Observer, “Cezanne Meets Tom of Finland, in Maine”

The Wall Street Journal, “‘Marsden Hartley’s Maine’ Review: A Vagabond Painter Looks for Home”

Huffington Post, “Marsden Hartley Goes Home To Maine At The Met Breuer”

Portland Press Herald, “‘Marsden Hartley’s Maine’ focuses on a complicated love affair”

Sun Journal, “Bates’ intimate Hartley exhibit shows another side”

Arts And The Antiques Weekly, “Marsden Hartley’s Maine”

The New Criterion, “Marsden Hartley at The Met Breuer”

The Art Newspaper, “Marsden Hartley’s Maine: what the Modern painter took from his home state—and what he left behind”