Spring 1947 • Vol. IX No. 2 Nonfiction |

Evening Storm, Schoodick, Maine

In 1928 Marsden Hartley wrote: "I have come to the conclusion that it is better to have two colors in right relation to each other than to have a vast confusion of emotional exuberance in the guise of ecstatic fullness or poetical revelation—both of which qualities have, generally speaking, long since become second-rate experience. I had rather be intellectually right than emotionally exuberant, and I could say this of any other aspect of my personal experience." This was fifteen years before his death, and it represented, in Hartley's own mind, an aesthetic conversion. Ten years earlier he had argued in favor of "a release for the expression of natural sensibilities"; now he rejected the "irrationality of the imaginative life. I have, if I may say. so, made the intellectual grade. I have made the complete return to nature, and nature is, as we all know, primarily an intellectual idea." Yet Hartley's new declaration of faith remained an ideal goal, an intention which (perh

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Art Letter

By Robert Goldwater

In 1928 Marsden Hartley wrote: "I have come to the conclusion that it is better to have two colors in right relation to each other than to have a vast […]

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