"Somehow a Past": New England Regionalism, 1900 to 1960

Elizabeth Finch's picture
October 6, 2017
Maine, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Colby College, Waterville, Maine

Friday, October 6, 2017

On the occasion of Marsden Hartley’s Maine, an exhibition organized by the Colby College Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Colby College will present the symposium “‘Somehow a Past’: New England Regionalism, 1900 to 1960.” Taking its title from the autobiography of Marsden Hartley, an artist closely associated with Maine, this gathering of leading scholars will explore the interest in regional, New England subjects among American artists who contributed to the development of modernism.

The symposium is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. For additional information, visit http://www.colby.edu/museum/somehow-a-past/

Symposium Program

Diamond Building Atrium

8:00–8:45 am

Registration and coffee


Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building

9:00 am

Welcome and Introduction

Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator

Elizabeth Finch, Lunder Curator of American Art


9:15–10:15 am

Keynote Lecture: “New England’s Regionalisms”

Martha McNamara, Wellesley College



Panel 1: Projecting New England


Erin Pauwels, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, "‘Change Your Style’: Charles Demuth in the New England Artist Colonies"

Sarah Powers, Virginia Museum of Arts, "Postcards from Vermont: Reconciling the Rural and the Modern in Charles Sheeler’s Vermont Landscape"

Justin Wolff, University of Maine, Orono, “The Familiar Ephemeral: Everyday New England and Amateur Film”

Respondents: Chelsea Wessels and Mary Ellis Gibson, Colby College

Moderator: Justin McCann, Colby College Museum of Art


12:15–1:45 pm

Lunch (on your own) and visits to the Colby Museum


Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Museum Building

2:00–3:30 pm

Panel 2: Taking Place


Austen Barron Bailly, Peabody Essex Museum, "Thomas Hart Benton, Metacomet and Martha's Vineyard: New England Origins for an American Modernism"

Leo Mazow, Virginia Museum of Arts, "Wagon Wheels and Tourist Homes: Edward Hopper’s New England Regionalism"

Dana Ostrander, PhD candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Native / American: Locating Indigeneity in Marsden Hartley’s Madawaska–Acadian Light-Heavy

Respondents: Katherine Stubbs, Colby College, and Diana Tuite, Colby College    Museum of Art

Moderator: Tanya Sheehan, Colby College


3:45–5:15 pm

Panel 3: Divining Objects


Libby Bischof, University of Southern Maine, "Objects of Affection: Modernism, Regionalism and Friendship in the Lives and Works of Marsden Hartley, Paul and Rebecca Strand, and Gaston and Isabel Lachaise"

Erika Doss, University of Notre Dame, “Windmills and Mountains: Agnes Pelton, Marsden Hartley, and Spiritual Modernism in New England”

William D. Moore, Boston University, "William F. Winters, Jr. invents the Shaker Aesthetic: Industrial Photography, Museum Exhibitions, and American Modernism, 1923-1939"

Respondents: Randall R. Griffey, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Laura Saltz, Colby College

Moderator: Lauren Lessing, Colby College Museum of Art


William D. Adams Gallery (museum lobby)

5:30–6:30 pm



This Colby College symposium is sponsored by the Colby Museum, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Art Department, and the American Studies program.

Marsden Hartley’s Maine is organized by the Colby College Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibition is made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation, Bank of America, Betsy Cohen and Edward Cohen/Aretê Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Everett P. and Florence H. Turner Exhibition Fund.

Contact Email: