centerlogobigAAD logo


1500HD DSC 0951 post hartMarsden Hartley, Lobster Shacks, Corea Maine, loaned to the Bates College Museum of ArtLewiston, Maine, the Bates College Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection has many reasons to celebrate. First their native son Hartley is the subject of a major European retrospective of his work at the Lousiana Museum of Art in Denmark. Second, a major grant was announced this past week ensuring Bates Colleges Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection produce the Hartley catalogue and remain the paramount place of study on his life and career. Lastly, Bates recently received a loan of a rediscovered work by the artist along with related works by Paul Cadmus and George Platt Lynes which dovetail nicely with their collection, and a past exhibition: The Painter of Maine: Photographs of Marsden Hartley, From the Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection, June 12 -October 24, 2015

02lynes 55.01.133 001 vfGeorge Platt Lynes, Marsden Hartley, Collection of Bates College Museum of Art

For those unaware, the last two years of the artists life (1942 - 1943) he left Maine and stayed in New York City. Marsden Hartley used as his painting studio a room he sublet at George Platt Lynes photography studio located at 640 Madison Avenue.

On its own, fashion photographer Lynes portrait of Hartley is iconic. As our story shows contemporary with these images are a number showing his studio assistant Dora Maxwell in various poses dressed and undressed next to nude male ballet dancers. Dora’s prominence in Lynes work put her on the cover of the  book George Platt Lynes Photographs, 1931-1955 by Jack Woody, published in 1981.

03dora cover bookGeorge Platt Lynes, Dora Maxwell with Two Dancers

Dora’s importance to Hartley was that it was her office, studio manager, that also served as Hartley’s studio, only two images survive of this, his last NYC place of work. A pen and ink sketch of Dora in her office by fellow art tenant Paul Cadmus and this photograph of Dora by Lynes with an interesting caption on the back:

04 DoratakingabathatstudioGeorge Platt Lynes, Dora Taking a Bath in the Studio Office

05DoraInscription verso by Lynes

06 1000 01Cadmus DoraMaxell 1942Paul Cadmus, Dora Maxwell in the Lynes Studio Office, loan to the Bates College Museum of Art

Hartley was grateful enough to Dora for sharing the space that he gave her an oil as a present, Lobster Shacks, Corea, Maine, which on display at the Bate College Museum of Art for the next year. The inclusion of the Cadmus works is significant because until these works were discovered in the company of Hartley, nobody knew the two artists worked in proximity to each other, let alone exhibit together which they did in the summer of 1942 at the Baltimore Museum of Art. To this day there is no book on the artist referencing the Baltimore exhibition of 1942, with the new catalogue on the artist to be established at Bates, presumably that will change.

This loan was realised in honor of Bates College alumni Jack Batal, Vincent McGee and Robert Muller, Class of 1955

07 original dora santafenmDora Maxwell sixty years later


08 XBMA42 hartley




Gallery, Hartley/Cadmus/Burchfield exhibition, The Baltimore Museum of Art, 1942.


 Screen Shot 2019 07 15 at 23.09.00

You may also like to read:

* Finney Farm Croton-on-Hudson, home of Mabel Dodge, Andrew Dasburg and Marsden Hartley

* Marsden Hartley, In His Own Words and Records

* Marsden Hartley at Louisiana, Denmark

* Marsden Hartley's Maine, Met-Breuer

About the Author

Robert Alexander Boyle

Robert Alexander Boyle

 Alexander Boyle is a graduate of Trinity College, Hartford, CT where he majored in History. Prior to graduation he co-authored the seminal book Acid Rain in 1983. Alex has worked for the Metropo...