Editor's note: The Portland Museum of Art provided source material to Resource Library for the following article or essay. If you have questions or comments regarding the source material, please contact the Portland Museum of Art directly through either this phone number or web address:


Maine Moderns: Art in Seguinland, 1900-1940

June 4 - September 11, 2011


In the first half of the 20th century a small group of American modernists chose to summer in the mid-coast communities south of Bath, in a region that was then known as "Seguinland." Maine Moderns: Art in Seguinland, 1900-1940, on view June 4 through September 11, 2011, at the Portland Museum of Art, will feature more than 65 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs by artists such as Marsden Hartley, Max Weber, Marguerite and William Zorach, Gaston Lachaise, Gertrude Käsebier, and more. The exhibition will examine the close personal and professional relationships of this group and the distinctive landscape that bound them together. (right: Marsden Hartley (United States 1877-1943), Jotham's Island (now Fox), Off Indian Point, Georgetown, Maine, 1937, oil on board, 22 13/16 x 28 13/16 inches. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, Museum purchase, 1938.41.)

Although much of their artistic activity was centered in New York, along with their mentor the photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz, these artists all chose Maine as their summer home. It was there that they developed a camaraderie and sense of place that strongly influenced their work. The exhibition begins with an examination of pictorial photographs by F. Holland Day, Clarence White, Gertrude Käsebier, and others taken around Day's home in Georgetown and White's summer art school at the neighboring Seguinland Hotel. Maine Moderns will take a look at the work of modernist painters Max Weber and John Marin, who both showed their Maine images in Stieglitz's New York galleries. In the early 1920s, the sculptor, Gaston Lachaise, bought a summer home and studio in Georgetown and welcomed the painter Marsden Hartley back to his native state, when Hartley returned to work here in 1928.

Other frequent visitors to the Lachaise house during this period included the photographer, Paul Strand, and the painters Marguerite and William Zorach who had settled at the other end of Robinhood Cove not far from the Lachaise house. Among the latter group, it was the Zorachs whose work most frequently depicted this region.

Seguinland provided a unique artistic experience in Maine and was distinct from the better known art colonies at Ogunquit and Monhegan Island that were also active during this period. In those places, larger numbers of both professional and amateur artists congregated for lessons and exhibitions, intermingling with a tourist community. But the two coastal areas south of Bath, Georgetown and Phippsburg, remained more isolated during the first half of the 20th century. The few artists there were a select group of individuals drawn by the distinctive coastline and their shared interests in modernism. This is the first occasion to fully examine their relationships to one another and the role of Maine in the broader development of modernism.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 170-page fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Susan Danly, curator of photography at the Portland Museum of Art and Elizabeth Bischof, assistant professor of history at the University of Southern Maine, and additional entries by Verna Curtis, curator of photography, Library of Congress; Gail Scott, independent Hartley scholar; and Virginia Budny, author of the Lachaise catalogue raisonné. The exhibition catalogue will be available in the Museum Store.


(above: Marguerite Zorach (United States, 1887-1968,), Clambake, circa 1945, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches. Portland Museum of Art. Gift of Unum Provident Corporation, 2000.8.2.)

(above: Gaston Lachaise (United States, born France, 1882-1935,) Portrait of John Marin, 1928, bronze, 12 1/4 x 9 5/8 x 9 5/16 inches. Collection of Lisa Marin.)

To view the exhibition checklist please click here.

Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Portland Museum of Art in Resource Library.

Editor's note: Resource Library readers may also enjoy:

and biographical information on artists cited in this article in America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.

Copyright 2011 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.