Huntington Acquires John Marin “Weehawken”

December 19, 2019
John Marin, Weehawken Sequence, by 1916
John Marin, Weehawken Sequence, by 1916

The two lively and evocative oil sketches by modernist John Marin (1870-1953) that were acquired are from a group of roughly 100 that the artist created between 1910 and 1916 in the New Jersey township of Weehawken. Both landscapes feature an angular leafless tree at the center surrounded by slashes and daubs of paint in a distinctive and lush color palette and were important early experiments in abstraction and expression. Marin was one of the first American painters—along with Arthur Dove and Marsden Hartley, both represented in The Huntington’s collections—to employ elements of abstraction in his work. Like so many American artists of his time, Marin traveled to Paris in 1905, where he met artist Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz not only mounted Marin’s first solo show in 1909 at his famous gallery “291” in midtown Manhattan, but also financially supported the artist over the remainder of Marin’s career. In 1910, Marin returned to his native New Jersey, his creative impulses fueled by his time in Europe. In that year he began the Weehawken Sequence, which is considered a major achievement and was included in the watershed 1913 Armory Show in New York. The two Marin paintings will be displayed at The Huntington near related works already on view in the American art galleries, such as Stuart Davis’s Gloucester Landscape (1919) and Arthur Dove’s Lattice and Awning (1941).

About the author

Andrew Schoelkopf