NARRATOR: In 1909, Marsden Hartley’s bold, colorful Maine seascapes were featured in an exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz’s vanguard 291 Gallery. Soon after, Hartley traveled to Europe. Stieglitz encouraged him to visit Paris, but he ended up in Berlin. He began to make highly personal paintings, influenced by Cubism, that combined abstract shapes with numbers, fragments of uniforms and other regalia.
Hartley returned to the United States in late 1915. Not surprisingly, anti-German sentiment had a negative affect on the reception of his Berlin paintings. After the First World War, the art world took an isolationist turn away from European-inspired modernism. Hartley adopted a more realist style, focusing especially on the Maine landscape of his youth.