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On View Now

Becoming John Marin: Modernist at Work

October 27–January 20, 2019

Cowden Gallery

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine), On Mount Desert, Maine, 1920, watercolor over graphite on textured watercolor paper, 14 x 16 ¾ in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Norma B. Marin. 2013.018.142


For the American modernist John Marin (1870–1953), best known for his luminous watercolors of rural Maine and urban New York, drawing was central. Becoming John Marin: Modernist at Work offers the viewer an inside look at the process behind his abstract watercolors and etchings.

Selected primarily from the outstanding collection of 290 drawings and watercolors donated to the Arkansas Arts Center by the artist’s daughter-in-law, Norma Marin, in 2013, the exhibition features rarely exhibited studio working drawings alongside finished pieces. Augmented by examples of Marin's drawings, watercolors, etchings, and oil paintings from the distinguished collection of San Antonio businessman and philanthropist Charles Butt, the exhibition spans nearly every aspect of Marin's long career, tracing his transformation from an avid young draftsman to the famed modernist who showed each year in Alfred Stieglitz’s succession of Manhattan galleries.

The works vary from dynamic depictions of Manhattan structures and Maine landscapes to lesser-known figures: bustling urban crowds, portraits, and circus animals and performers in motion. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog of the center’s complete, newly conserved John Marin Collection.

During Museum free general admission hours on Sunday (10 a.m–12 p.m.), there is a $5 charge for this special exhibition.
 

 

This exhibition is organized by the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock. It is generously funded by USAA and the Marcia and Otto Koehler Foundation, Bank of American, N.A. Trustee.


 

 

Exhibition Gallery

Marin, Nymphs and Sea

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 –1953, Cape Split, Maine), Nymphs and Sea, 1941, watercolor and charcoal over graphite on hot-pressed light rag paper, 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Norma B. Marin. 2013.018.001

Marin, Woolworth Building Under Construction

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine), Woolworth Building Under Construction, 1912, watercolor and graphite on textured watercolor paper, 19 5/8 x 15 3/8 in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Norma B. Marin. 2013.018.011

Marin, Shark

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine), Blue Shark, 1922, watercolor and charcoal on heavy textured watercolor paper, 12 1/8 x 16 1/8 in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Norma B. Marin. 2013.018.085

Marin, Manhattan Skyline from the River

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine), Manhattan Skyline from the River, 1909-1912, watercolor over graphite on textured watercolor paper, 11 1/2 x 12 3/4 in.,

Marin, Buildings, Downtown New York

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine), Buildings, Downtown New York, circa 1925, watercolor and graphite on paperboard, 6 x 5 in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Norma B. Marin. 2013.018.163

Marin, Municipal Building, Manhattan

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine), Municipal Building, Manhattan, 1912, graphite on paper, 10 x 8 in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Norma B. Marin. 2013.018.273

Marin, Woolworth Building under Construction

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine), Woolworth Building under Construction, 1912, graphite on paper, 10 x 8 in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Norma B. Marin. 2013.018.278

Marin, Palisades, Hudson River, New Jersey

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine), Palisades, Hudson River, New Jersey, 1923, watercolor and charcoal on textured watercolor paper, 19 3/4 x 16 1/2 in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Norma B. Marin. 2013.018.234

Marin, Ramapo Mountains

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine), Ramapo Mountains, 1945, watercolor and graphite on textured watercolor paper, 15 1/4 x 19 3/4 in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Norma B. Marin. 2013.018.243

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