Charles Demuth (American, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1883–1935 Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
Watercolor and graphite on paper
10 x 13 7/8 in. (25.4 x 35.2 cm)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
Not on view
While in Bermuda, Demuth expanded upon the Cubo-Futurist style that he had begun to experiment with a few months earlier in Provincetown, Massachusetts (where Hartley also summered). The presence of the French Cubist, Albert Gleizes, in Bermuda that winter may have further inspired his explorations in this direction, resulting in a number of compositions made up of multiple intersecting lines and planes. The triangular rays that fill this sheet define the three masts, sails, and hull of a large ship bearing a Danish flag. The ship, Elsa, was docked in St. George for repairs during the winter of 1916-17, and would have been an impressive sight as it measured 190 feet long and 37 feet wide, had two decks, and a weight of 1236 tons. Its image inspired at least three of Hartley's Bermuda paintings from 1917.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): C. Demuth/ 1917–
the artist (from 1917; to Stieglitz); Alfred Stieglitz, New York (by 1935–d. 1946; his estate, 1946–49; gift to MMA)
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "History of an American, Alfred Stieglitz: '291' and After, Selections from the Stieglitz Collection," July 1–November 1, 1944, no. 284.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Alfred Stieglitz Exhibition: His Collection," June 10–August 31, 1947, no catalogue (checklist no. 12).
Art Institute of Chicago. "Alfred Stieglitz: His Photographs and His Collection," February 2–29, 1948, extended to March 7, 1948, no catalogue (checklist no. 132).
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Charles Demuth," March 7–June 11, 1950, no. 57.
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Denver Art Museum. "American Watercolors from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Selection 2," February 2–March 31, 1991, no. 146.
Norfolk, Va. Chrysler Museum of Art. "American Watercolors from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Selection 2," May 9–July 7, 1991, no. 146.
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Robert M. Coates. "The Art Galleries: Charles Demuth." New Yorker (March 18, 1950), p. 58.
Emily Farnham. "Charles Demuth: His Life, Psychology, and Works." PhD diss., Ohio State University, Columbus, 1959, vol. 2, pp. xiii, 501, 789, no. 236, fig. 32.
Henry Geldzahler. American Painting in the Twentieth Century. New York, 1965, p. 134, ill.
Albert Ten Eyck Gardner. History of Water Color Painting in America. New York, 1966, p. 129, pl. 114.
H. H. Arnason. History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. New York, N.Y., , p. 415, pl. 673.
Alvord L. Eiseman. "A Study of the Development of an Artist: Charles Demuth." PhD diss., New York University, School of Education, 1974, p. 171, fig. 90, ill. p. 170.
H. Harvard Arnason. History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. Ed. Marla Prather. 4th rev. ed. (1st ed., 1968). New York, 1998, pp. 419-20, pl. 482.
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