Native Subject: The Life and Work of Marsden Hartley

Thomas Gaehtgens and Townsend Ludington talk about Ludington’s book Marsden Hartley: The Biography of an American Painter. Hartley was among the first American modernist painters, although less well-known than his contemporaries Georgia O’Keefe and John Marin. In personal terms, Hartley was a shy and lonely individual, a self-educated New Englander. Like other American artists and writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Hartley searched for native subjects, form, and atmosphere, and in so doing reflected the growth of American art that was free from the shadow of Europe.

At the time of this interview, Gaehtgens was professor of art history at the Free University of Berlin. Ludington, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1985-86), was professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.

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