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His Own Path

The Spirit and Legacy of Herman Maril

U N I V E R S I T Y OF M A RY L A N D U N I V E R S I T Y COL L E G E


PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN

Herman Maril 1908–1986


His Own Path

The Spirit and Legacy of Herman Maril

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE


Š 2011 University of Maryland University College. All rights reserved. Copyright credits and attribution for certain illustrations are cited internally proximate to the illustrations. All rights reserved. ISBN-13: 978-0-9842265-0-4 ISBN-10: 0-9842265-0-8


Contents 5

Welcome

82 Selected Exhibitions

6 Preface

82 Selected Collections

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Acknowledgements

83

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Collection Flourishes on the Vision of My Father and the Masseys

84 Selected Publications

10 Herman Maril, Artist, 1908–1986 23 Herman Maril: Maryland Artist 32 Herman Maril and Provincetown 34 Chronology 37 Plates

Selected Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

85 Index of Artwork 87 UMUC Art Advisory Board 87 UMUC Board of Visitors 88 About the Authors


1 D E D I C AT I O N 2 This catalog is dedicated to Esta C. Maril and Bylee Massey in recognition of their steadfastness, determination, tenacity, vision, and love for the arts and the art of Herman Maril.

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Meadowy, 1984, oil on canvas, 30 x 40"


Welcome University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is proud to continuously showcase the artwork of highly distinguished Maryland artist Herman Maril. Maril’s style is truly unique. The shapes and lines in his works are often kept to a bare minimum. They provide a refreshing return to simplicity, a welcome respite from an increasingly complex world. Maril, a Baltimore native, painted throughout his life. His works, which so often epitomized the American scene movement, have been displayed at UMUC, the National Museum of American Art, the Wichita Art Museum, and beyond. Maril shared his expertise with the community not only by displaying his art but also by teaching at University of Maryland, College Park, for more than 30 years. His dedication to his own professional development and that of his students exemplifies the importance of lifelong learning.

TISARA PHOTOGRAPHY

Dear Friends of UMUC,

Viewing Maril’s works lets you see the world through his eyes. Although his art makes subtle statements about nature, Maril was straightforward about the role it played in his work. He once said, “The sources of my work have been a response to nature and the world around me.” As the former director of the Wichita Art Museum states in this catalog, Maril’s consistent portrayal of human forms as anonymous and even faceless reflects his belief that the world is bigger than ourselves. I couldn’t agree more with Maril’s understanding of our place in the world, and I hope that everyone from the UMUC community and beyond will have the opportunity to experience his work firsthand. Sincerely,

Susan C. Aldridge, PhD President University of Maryland University College

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Preface University of Maryland, College Park, for 30 years. As an educator and artist, he was well respected by the area’s visual artists and the community as a whole. After his death in 1986, Bylee Massey continued to develop and expand the university’s art collection for another 14 years. TISARA PHOTOGRAPHY

Upon my arrival as the director of the Arts Program at UMUC, I had the opportunity to view the art of Herman Maril for the first time. As I walked through the Herman Maril Gallery on the lower level of the UMUC Inn and Conference Center, I found myself characterizing his works as simplistic, subtle, flat, intimate, understated, and radiant. As I continued to observe his works, a sense of peace came over me. His works are simple and void of detail but also reflective and inviting. While Maril used his art as a means of documenting his life and experiences, his works allow viewers to inject their personal experiences into his interpretations.

The UMUC Arts Program has had a long and wonderful relationship with Herman Maril, who was a key figure during the program’s formative years. When former UMUC President T. Benjamin Massey and his wife Bylee returned to the United States after working for UMUC overseas, Benjamin began working out of the Center of Adult Education—the building we now know as the ICC. At the time, Bylee Massey thought the center’s walls were bare and it lacked a personality. She quickly realized that an arts program was the perfect solution. In 1978, she founded the Arts Program and recruited Maril to help. Maril was an obvious choice. He was a Maryland native in every sense—he was born in Maryland, lived in the state, and taught art at

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Today, the Maryland community continues to benefit from Massey’s and Maril’s contributions as well as the contributions of Doris Patz and every artist who has donated to or exhibited at UMUC. Each has played a pivotal role in the program’s development. UMUC’s halls, conference and meeting rooms, offices, galleries, and hotel restaurant display works of art by artists from throughout the United States and the world, including Grace Hartigan, David Driskell, Sam Gilliam, Jacques Maroger, David Zuccarini, Paulette Morelli, James Reid, and Reuben Kramer. His Own Path: The Spirit and Legacy of Herman Maril was created to express the university’s commitment to showcasing the arts, its thanks for Maril’s contributions to the Arts Program, and its appreciation for Maril as an artist. UMUC is proud to produce this historic publication. Eric Key Director, Arts Program University of Maryland University College


Acknowledgements This catalog, His Own Path: The Spirit and Legacy of Herman Maril, has been more than 20 years in the making. As with any project of this magnitude, this catalog would not have been realized without the generous contributions of its many supporters. First, we would be remiss if we did not recognize and express heartfelt appreciation to the late Howard E. Wooden and the late David W. Scott, PhD, whose essays about Maril are included in this publication. Wooden worked as director of the Wichita Art Museum in Wichita, Kansas, and the Sheldon Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana. Scott was founding director of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, played a key role in expanding the National Gallery of Art, and served as acting director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Both were strong supporters, friends, and colleagues of Maril and his family. We owe much thanks to Maril’s family members, who have been instrumental in this project’s development. Esta and Herman Maril’s son David has worked diligently to share his father’s art with the world and provided all of the necessary supporting materials and documentation about his father that was needed for this project. Herman Maril would undoubtedly be proud of the work David has done to promote the arts and carry on his legacy.

The late Esta C. Maril (September 13, 1921–April 17, 2009), Herman Maril’s wife, gave so much of her time and attention to improving UMUC and the greater Maryland community. UMUC would like to extend its sincerest thanks to Esta for establishing the Herman Maril Collection at UMUC. Also, thank you to Nadja Maril Crilly, Esta and Herman Maril’s daughter, who has supported her mother and her brother in the donation of her father’s works. The Arts Program is indebted to all of our patrons and constituents who have supported the development of the program since its inception. It is especially indebted to Bylee and T. Benjamin Massey, who embraced Maril at the onset of the development of the Arts Program. Finally, we extend a special thank you to President Susan C. Aldridge, PhD, for being such a fervent supporter of and advocate for the Arts Program. Aldridge has shown an unwavering dedication to the arts throughout her time at UMUC. Most recently, she requested the walls of the new 236,000-square-foot UMUC Academic Center at Largo be filled with original art. Aldridge is working with the Art Advisory Board to continue Herman Maril and Bylee Massey’s work. Eric Key Director, Arts Program University of Maryland University College

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COLLECTION FLOURISHES ON THE VISION OF MY FATHER AND THE MASSEYS David Maril

What pleases me most about the Herman Maril collection at UMUC is the project began when my father was alive and he knew there would be a comprehensive exhibit of his work on permanent display within walking distance of the College Park campus where he taught for more than 30 years.

It’s appropriate for a collection of his work to be at a university. Teaching was an important part of my father’s art world. With his position as a full professor at University of Maryland, College Park, he was able to earn a living and not depend on painting sales to support his family. It enabled him to paint the way he wanted, traveling his own path, without being pressured into following popular trends that he didn’t believe in simply for the sake of selling and producing revenue. He was able to set his teaching schedule up so he was at College Park three days a week and had summers off. He painted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends during the academic year and every day in the summer. When he was home, he woke up to paint early in the morning before having breakfast. Often, he’d break up his painting sessions by taking a walk or a drive and having lunch in the countryside with my mother, Esta C. Maril. When he retired from teaching, he painted every day and often said that he didn’t believe in sitting around waiting for inspiration. He created art from memory in his studios in Baltimore, Maryland, and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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When he traveled, whether to Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Monhegan Island, or the Adirondacks, he brought the terrains and images home with him in his mind and seldom if ever worked from sketches. There was little doubt that it was serious business when he was in the studio painting and had a classical music radio station playing softly in the background. But he didn’t mind when my sister, Nadja, or I walked in and started talking to him or sat on one of the rockers and watched him paint for a little while. Our first cat, a gray tabby, converted him from a dog lover to an admirer of cats by visiting him in the studio each day. Thanks to Silky, family cats became a theme in many of his paintings. He was a warm and very ethical person with a pretty good sense of humor and knew how to make people around him feel comfortable. He was also very serious and intense about art. He was not a selfpromoter—he was comfortable letting his art speak for itself. My father was fortunate to be able to do something he liked right up to his death at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Massachusetts, in September of 1986. At the time of his death, a painting he had been working on remained on his Provincetown easel. The discussions about a collection of paintings by my father began with T. Benjamin Massey, PhD, president emeritus of UMUC, who was responsible for having my father honored in 1984 with an honorary doctorate for lifetime achievement in the arts. With thousands of students and educators visiting the Inn and Conference Center, Bylee Massey, the president’s wife, had the bold vision to develop collections that would showcase Maryland artists and add to the walls of UMUC’s Inn and Conference Center. This vision led to the development of a large collection of art by Maryland artists at UMUC. The university had already started collecting Asian art in connection with its campuses all over the world.

Photograph by Aaron M. Levin, 1983


My father, a native of Baltimore, had a national reputation and had works in more than 70 museums. He had been the artists’ representative on the Baltimore Museum of Art Board of Trustees for many years and had helped start the Maryland Chapter of Artists Equity. When my father agreed to help UMUC establish a collection of his work, the university’s program gained another level of credibility. “Herman Maril typifies what can be accomplished by following one’s own vision and own path, regardless of contemporary trends,” T. Benjamin Massey said at the official dedication of the Maril collection at UMUC. After my father died in 1986, my mother worked very closely with the Masseys over the next 10 years, encouraging other artists to contribute art to the UMUC collection. Bylee Massey and my mother, for example, spent a lot of time visiting sculptor Reuben Kramer, who was commissioned to do Baltimore’s tribute to Thurgood Marshall, to encourage him to donate pieces of his work and paintings by his wife, Perna Krick. My mother also donated a number of paintings by Maryland artists from our family collection. The Herman Maril Collection, through gifts from the family and collectors, has grown steadily and includes more than 70 oils and works on paper. One painting, Sunday at the Docks, was selected for exhibition in the 1939 World’s Fair and has been borrowed from the UMUC permanent collection for display in Maril shows at the Walters Art Museum and the Provincetown Art Association Museum. I must recognize several people for their roles in making this collection possible. The Masseys, who are responsible for my father’s art collection at UMUC, were wonderful to work with and believed in the importance of art being on exhibit to educate and inspire. They worked tirelessly to initiate and develop the Maryland collections. Operating with a limited budget, they found ways to organize enlightening lectures and education programs that tied in with the collections and exhibitions.

John S. Toll, PhD, former chancellor of the University System of Maryland, was extremely supportive. At the UMUC tribute to my father after he died, in 1986, Toll stated, “The university is committed to doing everything it can to encourage the development of the human intellect and human creativity. We do this in every discipline but especially in the arts . . . and Herman Maril exemplified this goal through his 31 years on the faculty as an artist, teacher, and gentleman.” Alan Hershfield, PhD, UMUC vice chancellor during the years we were forming the collection, worked very closely with the Masseys and my family. In later years, Nicholas Allen, DPA, UMUC provost emeritus, also offered support. Three collectors who were close friends of the Maril family had major impacts on the collection. Jules Horelick, a prominent art collector, donated several major paintings to UMUC and believed very strongly in what the Masseys were developing. Mary Ainsworth, PhD, a research pioneer in childhood development with a worldwide reputation, gave her large collection of Maril artworks to UMUC. Gene Feinblatt, my father’s personal attorney, worked very closely with the Masseys and my parents in making an agreement possible. I am very grateful to Susan C. Aldridge, PhD, who has made the publication of the Herman Maril catalog possible. Aldridge has worked hard to solidify the future of the legacy the Masseys began. It has also been a pleasure to complete this project with Eric Key and Bobby Donovan, the director and former assistant director of the Arts Program. Key, in a short time, has reinforced objective museum standards, and, for a number of years, Donovan was the conscience of the program.

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HERMAN MARIL, ARTIST 1908–1986

Magazine of Art, Olin Dows published an article on his painting; it began, “Herman Maril has found himself at twenty-six.”3 Dows’s description of the essential qualities in Maril’s style could be used to characterize his painting during the next five decades:

David W. Scott, PhD Founding Director, National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Maril says that his aim is to reduce ideas felt or seen to as simple a statement and thorough an organization as possible. These ideas are pictorial. He sees life around him with a painter’s eye. His purpose is clear. There is always a point. It is expressed through an underlying geometric skeleton, an integrity of structure . . . His observation is acute, but its statement is reduced to the basic necessities of expression.4

Figure 1: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1927, oil on canvas, 36 x 29¾", Collection of David Maril

This vision began to take form by the time he was 20. A self-portrait, painted in 1927 when he was still a student at the Maryland Institute of Art, shows the boldness and simplicity of form that were to mark his mature work (fig. 1). Over the next three years, he explored the techniques used by Paul Cézanne and the cubists in modifying forms and relating them to the picture plane (fig. 2) in his still lifes and landscapes. By reducing natural forms to a symbolic representation, he learned to simplify them and then combine them into a tightly organized pictorial statement. Within a few years, he began to establish himself as a painter with a personal style. He attracted the patronage of Duncan Phillips in 1934, and in the same year won distinction for a painting commissioned by the first of the federal art projects, the Public Works of Art Project. The following year, in The American

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Dows’s remarks could be applied to Maril’s work of the seventies or eighties, but this does not mean that his view of the world and the public’s view of the world did not change in perspective and expression over the decades. The decade of the 1930s was the time of the Depression, and Maril shared in experiencing hard times. America was becoming more isolationist. People were examining the American scene and social problems. Maril painted industrial buildings, commercial waterfronts, and workers. His subjects are representative of the period, but his style remained distinctively his own (fig. 3). Unlike the committed American scene painters, he did not offer

Figure 2: Interior with Pitcher, 1931, oil on canvas, 25 x 18", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

LIGHTCHASER PHOTOGRAPHY

an artist!” Herman Maril wrote to his daughter Nadja in 1975.1 This reflection of his total commitment affords a key to understanding and appreciating his life’s work. His long career was dedicated to formulating and communicating a personal vision that he described in two brief sentences: “My source is based in my experience and my imagery stems primarily from nature. I try to relate all the elements into a oneness of color and space.”2

LIGHTCHASER PHOTOGRAPHY

“If one is an artist, one will be


Figure 3: Sunday at the Docks, 1938, oil on canvas, 28 x 36", Gift of Philip and Phyllis Horelick

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the delights of homely details; unlike the protest painters, he did not put expression of emotion above the probity of the picture. His work is not without feeling, but through its abstraction it remains curiously detached. He worked with a limited palette, transposing the colors of nature. His simplified shapes, which at first sight might appear bland, are forceful and memorable. Maril was quite active as a young artist in the thirties. He continued to paint as opportunity arose during the war years. He served in the Army from 1942 to 1945 and remained in the United States to work on camouflage for the military. He created a number of small pictures that were intensive in brushwork and feeling and emphasized the human being. Maril expressed the impact the war had on him in his own style. Even such a sketch as On Maneuvers (fig. 4), with its prominent

Figure 4: On Maneuvers, 1942, gouache, 7 x 15½", private collection

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figure and extraordinary burst of red, bears an unmistakable Maril stamp. Maril’s work was starting to become less detached—he began to treat his art as a vehicle to convey his feelings and in doing so began the transition to the approach he took to painting later in life. The decade following the war was one of dramatic change in mood and style, both for the country at large and for Maril. Reentry into civilian life, however, was gradual. Painters discharged from the service were older, more sober. In their return to painting, they tried to establish links to the past and at the same time look ahead. We catch a glimpse of Maril in 1945, in such vigorously and starkly composed works as Packing Plant (fig. 5) and Waterfall No. 2 (The Phillips Collection), continuing his prewar vision with increased seriousness. Then, within three years, Maril’s circumstances changed dramatically.


Figure 5: Packing Plant, 1945, oil on canvas, 21Âź x 28", Gift of Esta C. Maril in memory of Howard Wooden

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In 1947, he started his long career as a full-time faculty member in the art department at the University of Maryland, College Park, and in 1948 he married Esta Cook and began his regular summer excursions to Cape Cod, where he rejoined such friends as Karl Knaths and Milton Avery. His paintings opened up, becoming freer and more joyous. There can be no more revealing contrast than that between his On Maneuvers of 1942 and The Weirs (fig. 6) of 1955. The fifties were a time of exuberance in American painting. The power and size of the canvases of the abstract expressionist painters changed the concept of “format.” The broad gestures of Jackson Pollack and Franz Kline brought a new vigor and freedom. Knaths and Avery had been laying the way for this outburst—Knaths with his experiments in linear abstraction and Avery with his intuitive expressionism in transforming natural forms. This climate was the setting for a major change in the forms in Maril’s paintings. Maril still derived his inspiration from nature and experience; forms were still stripped to their essence; a pictorial synthesis was still the objective. But, space opened up, compositions became freer and more daring, shapes became more expressive and dynamic, and the canvases reflected the artist’s joy in painting. Maril was a gifted draftsman with a love for the expressive power of line. During this period, he strengthened his paintings with vigorous outlines and rhythmic stresses. His 1973 Interior with Dog (fig. 7) is a prime example of his linear devices, which he used to starkly emphasize the shapes in the picture. The intersecting rectangles of the table and window define the main planes on the painting surface and create tension. The thrust of the window is reinforced by the slanting glass edge. The perspective distortions of the glass and tabletop animate the picture plane. The great rectangle of the window is made dynamic rather than static by the slight tilting of its top and side edges. The interplay of all these forms, enhanced by the lines, knits the composition together, creating oneness. At the same time, however, the lines bound and separate the forms: they move against each other but do not meld. To soften the boundaries, Maril breaks the lines in places or slightly smudges the edges, but the lines dominate. In works of the

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Figure 6: The Weirs, 1955, oil on canvas, 48 x 38½", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth


Figure 7: Interior with Dog, 1973, oil on canvas, 50 x 40", Gift of Ronald E. Becker

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LIGHTCHASER PHOTOGRAPHY

ing a subject or compositional oddity that caught his ever-searching eye: the back of an isolated passenger on a lonely bus, the black rectangle of a wall telephone with its mouthpiece staring like an eye from an expanse of wall, the colorful jumble of a Mexican vendor’s stall. On the other hand, a great many paintings fall into groups of favorite subjects— variations on familiar themes such as domestic interiors, studio glimpses, family figures, and especially the sea at Provincetown.

Figure 8: Swamp and Cattails II, 1959, oil on canvas, 30 x 40", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

later 1950s, the lines are subdued, and in the final phase of his painting, they become subordinate. The change is well illustrated in Swamp and Cattails II (fig. 8), in which the composition is dominated by a large, light rectangle placed similarly to the window shape in Interior with Dog. The border lines are gone, the edges softened, and the whole surface held together by a dance of accent strokes, a device that further promotes the oneness in many of his late works. Maril’s paintings during his last 25 years ranged in style and manner but were united by his underlying search for the essence of the subject and for pictorial unity. A few of his paintings come as surprises, show-

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When it comes to domestic interiors in Maril’s work, one recalls quiet spaces, broad vertical planes as backgrounds, and quite possibly a small black cat sleeping on the floor. The very lack of drama is telling. In Captain Midnight (fig. 9), the simple wall and floor planes divide the canvas into zones of muted peach and blue-gray. The only props other than the cat are a yellow pail, a mop, and a bit of torn poster on the door—each a carefully positioned accent of shape and color. The door, slightly opened, reveals a dark space beyond, from which a ray of light streaming across the floor completes the geometric grid of the painting. The diagonals leading to the door opening are balanced by the slant of the mop handle; the pull into space to the upper right is countered by the cat, mop, and yellow pail drawing the eye to the lower left. The spatial axis is subtly strengthened by the slight tilt of the wall base. The center of the painting is empty. All seems totally still, yet the painting is somehow alive. The secret is partly in Maril’s controlling idea, which he once expressed by saying that he sought “a tension that forced things to move back and forth, up and down, in a large open space . . . ”5; it is also in the painter’s communicated affection for the humble domestic scene and for his longtime companion, the small black cat—the piece’s namesake.


Figure 9: Captain Midnight, 1986, oil on canvas, 29 x 40"

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On several occasions, Maril painted pictures that derived from his studio but were not interiors in the usual sense. They were autobiographical, reflecting his concerns as an artist; they were not set like other interiors in a stage set but were portrayed objects associated with the painter’s craft and composed as a painter’s statement. They were sprightly compositions, frankly reveling in painterly devices. Duet (fig. 10) is a prime example. The carefully selected objects are all flattened against the picture plane—floor, tabletop, palette, coffee can, glass, easel, and self-portrait. The game of adjusting transitions and tensions is played with the deftness of a chess master and can only bring an admiring smile. Transitions are facilitated by the gestures of the brushes and the softened edges of the table. The movement is from lower left to upper right, across the canvas and into implied space. The diagonal from the blue cloth past the coffee can and slightly turned table edge to the portrait is caught and returned by the left-facing portrait. Maril’s love of vitalizing color and graphic accents is well exemplified on the palette and coffee can. The small self-portrait on the easel reminds us that the room is alive with the painter’s presence.

Figure 10: Duet, 1973, oil on canvas, 47½ x 35½", Gift of Allen Horelick

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In Maril’s large landscapes and in some interiors, figures are often reduced to depersonalized accents, and, even in larger figure portrayals, he at times eliminates facial features. He always sought to simplify and unify but at the same time always drew from nature and experience and had a sympathetic response to the subject. His later works frequently radiate his enjoyment in portraying figures—fishermen, musicians, friends, and especially his children. In Skaters (fig. 11), clouds dance, sky and water glow, and forms of land, sea, and sky join in upward swings to form a veritable fountain of youth. Maril treated many other recurring themes—gardens, dramatic mountain gorges and seaside cliffs, broadly serene stretches of sea and coast, musicians, and even familiar sports—but the paintings discussed above may be taken as summarily representative of his subjects and their treatment. However, no discussion of Maril’s art would be adequate without mention of his drawings. They are remarkable in ease, variety, number, and expressiveness; indeed, some of them are among his strongest creations. The drawings in the University of Maryland University College art collection give an indication of their

Figure 11: Skaters, 1966, oil on canvas, 50 x 36", Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jules Horelick

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Figure 12: Pale Inlet, n.d., oil on canvas, 23½ x 29½"

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range. The strictly linear sketches of the Mexican landscape convey a sense of the great sweep of the countryside. One, with a bare pine dividing the composition to the left of center, presents in a few deft lines the layout for a typical large, spare Maril oil—a witty reduction to the essentials. A brush drawing, in about a dozen swift strokes, presents an equally witty impression of three birds busily foraging. Two somewhat larger brush drawings are distillations of themes found elsewhere in larger paintings and demonstrate that Maril’s poetic extracts from nature do not depend for effect on his eloquent planes of color. Pale Inlet (fig. 12) is a moving composition, with its agitated brushwork, massing of darks, and luminous water. Sea and Horizon (fig. 13) is a quintessential Maril. One bold, dark horizontal stroke above the middle of the paper places the sea at a distance across the sand. A touch of gray cloud, well off-center, establishes the sky and sets in motion forces that knit the surface together, carried further by reflection in the water and a half-dozen strokes in the sand. The brushwork is sparse, but the near-abstraction is charged with feeling. Maril once wrote, “The desire to be minimal and to use as large an open area as possible in my work, has always been both an intuitive and intellectual part of my painting ‘drive.’”6 He also once said, “The horizontalness of water gives me a tremendous sense of serenity.”7

Figure 13: Sea and Horizon, n.d., watercolor, 10½ x 14", private collection

Maril has left us with his riches and a new appreciation of the adage, “Less is more.”

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References

Figure Listing

1.

Maril, Herman. Letter to his daughter, Nadja, 14 May 1975.

2.

Maril, Herman. Journal entry supplied by Esta Maril.

Figure 1

Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, 1927, oil on canvas, 36 x 29¾", Collection of David Maril

3.

Dows, Olin. “Herman Maril,” The American Magazine of Art, July 1935, 406.

Figure 2

Interior with Pitcher, 1931, oil on canvas, 25 x 18", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

4.

Ibid., 407.

5.

Herman Maril, The Early Years [audio recording]. University of Maryland University College, 1999.

Figure 3

Sunday at the Docks, 1938, oil on canvas, 28 x 36", Gift of Philip and Phyllis Horelick

Figure 4

On Maneuvers, 1942, gouache, 7 x 15½", private collection

6.

Maril, Herman. Letter to George Levitine, 16 January 1975.

7.

Herman Maril, The Early Years [audio recording]. University of Maryland University College, 1999.

Figure 5

Packing Plant, 1945, oil on canvas, 21¼ x 28", Gift of Esta C. Maril in memory of Howard Wooden

Figure 6

The Weirs, 1955, oil on canvas, 48 x 38½”, Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

Figure 7

Interior with Dog, 1973, oil on canvas, 50 x 40", Gift of Ronald E. Becker

Figure 8

Swamp and Cattails II, 1959, oil on canvas, 30 x 40", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

Figure 9

Captain Midnight, 1986, oil on canvas, 29 x 40"

Figure 10

Duet, 1973, oil on canvas, 47½ x 35½", Gift of Allen Horelick

Figure 11

Skaters, 1966, oil on canvas, 50 x 36", Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jules Horelick

Figure 12

Pale Inlet, n.d., oil on canvas, 23½ x 29½"

Figure 13

Sea and Horizon, n.d., watercolor, 10½ x 14", private collection

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HERMAN MARIL: MARYLAND ARTIST Howard E. Wooden Director Emeritus, Wichita Art Museum

“I don’t wait for inspiration. I believe inspiration comes with perspiration. But depending on the light and the weather and how I feel, I may knock off at two o’clock and take a walk in the neighborhood or drive out to Greenspring Valley for a look at the countryside.” Herman Maril

Herman Maril was an American artist of much distinction.

Throughout his career, he added beauty to the world and made our experiences with art more inviting and far more informative. Throughout his life, classical music touched his soul and served as a stimulus for every brush stroke and every idea he expressed. His respect for life—human and animal—echoed the personality of a gentle and sincerely lovable man. His style is highly personal. It appears simple but is actually quite complex, taking as its principal reference points two elementary directives: an emphasis on absolute simplicity in the treatment of all forms and an intentional elimination of all unnecessary detail, leaving only the essentials sufficient for communication of meaning and clarity of understanding. More specifically, Maril’s style includes the use of broad, flat areas of restful and delicate colors that are loosely applied

Figure 14: The Passenger, 1977, oil on canvas, 40 x 50"

without outline separations but that interact harmoniously with one another. This approach is the basis of his compositional geometry, for he builds his compositions more in terms of color-mass than simply of line. Indeed, color is undoubtedly the organizing force in his works (fig. 14). Maril’s style also demonstrates the artist’s respect for and consistent dedication to the primacy of the picture plane, for it is the picture plane above all else that is the reality of the painting. Inevitably, we are reminded of the far-reaching, significant pronouncement made in 1890 by the renowned French artist and critic Maurice Denis, whose familiar maxim reads, “ . . . a picture—before being the portrait of a nude woman, a war horse, or some anecdote—is essentially a plane surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order.”

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Hence, even though Maril may paint a chair, a table, or other objects, all subjects can be no more than object images that exist on the plane of the canvas. And so often—in violation of the traditional Renaissance conception of space—those depicted objects are tilted toward us so as to momentarily emphasize that they actually do exist, not in a real spatial depth but rather on the frontal plane of a canvas, thus reinforcing in the viewer’s mind the reality and primacy of the picture plane itself (fig. 15). Here, the mind and eye come into direct conflict, and the ambiguity produced forces viewers to participate in the life of the painted as they seek to discover resolution. This situation presents an inner clash between theme interpretation, as visually anticipated on the one hand, and the geometry of actual compositional structure on the other. Through this ambiguity, the viewer and the work of art are linked at an aesthetic level, and a new experience and meaning are achieved.

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The manner of painting for which Maril became so well respected did not arise out of a vacuum; it was the result of a long period of experimentation and searching, of laborious efforts to accomplish what was rooted in the mind of a very sensitive young man born in Baltimore in 1908, the son of Isaac Becker and Celia Maril. Rather early in his artistic career he assumed his mother’s maiden name to avoid being confused with other young artists named Becker. His high school curriculum at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute was marvelously varied and challenging, especially for students who wished to pursue engineering. However, Maril had no desire to become an engineer. Instead, he dreamed of being a painter and regularly spent much of his spare time visiting the treasures in local museum collections. During high

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LIGHTCHASER PHOTOGRAPHY

Maril’s style is marked by many other evident characteristics. For one, not only do the colors interrelate harmoniously with one another, but the objects depicted fuse with encompassing space. Also, from a thematic standpoint, he was a dedicated apostle of ecology in his thinking and themes and his technique was masterful.

Figure 15: Fish, 1975, oil on canvas, 36 x 30", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

school, he took night art classes at the Maryland Institute. After high school, he attended the Maryland Institute full time for two years. He spent his early years of artistic training searching for a personal style. Like almost all young art students, he was highly influenced by a variety of artists, some from the past and some from the present. Piero della Francesca and Giotto di Bondone were major influences, as were Paul Cézanne, Juan Gris, Georges Braque, and, later, Pablo Picasso.


In Maril’s early self-portrait, painted 1926–28, an awareness of body structure and solidarity and a sense of powerful geometry reminiscent of the work of Piero is clear1. Shades of the early synthetic cubists can be seen in several small but rather handsome still life exercises from the late twenties and early thirties (fig. 16). But none of these pieces had embodied a truly personal style, which Maril was vigorously seeking at the time. They do point out, however, his serious interest in structure and his knowledge that the flat surface of the canvas is the most fundamental physical reality of the painting. The cubist-inspired pieces altogether defy any suggestion of Renaissance illusionism.

During the earliest years following the 1929 crash, Maril produced a number of small paintings. Fortunately, in 1932, one of those paintings, then showing at the National Society of Independent Artists in Washington, D.C., was seen by the noted collector

LIGHTCHASER PHOTOGRAPHY

These early years were hard for Maril and for almost all artists of the period. The Great Depression had brought deep despair to the country. For Maril, there was little opportunity to paint, even experimentally. There were times Maril could barely find adequate funds to survive at even the most elemental level. Sometimes he worked as a janitor or at other parttime jobs. Often he had no funds for purchasing canvas, paints, brushes, or other necessary supplies, so he was forced to suspend painting altogether. Yet the hardships were apparently powerful motivators, and, in retrospect, Maril regarded the period as one of great opportunity and creativity. He once said, “If I had everything I needed during the thirties, I wouldn’t have amounted to much.”2 Interestingly enough, many of his peers in the world of art during the Depression have expressed similar sentiments.

Figure 16: Construction Crane, 1931, oil on canvas, 20¼ x 16¼", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

25


PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN

months, beginning in December 1933. At the close of the trial period in the spring of 1934, Maril’s work was selected for inclusion in a special exhibition held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Figure 17: Sketch of Old Baltimore Waterfront, 1934, oil on fiberboard, 18⅛ x 14¼", Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum, transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor

Duncan Phillips. Phillips was an enthusiastic admirer and soon thereafter purchased several of Maril’s works, which he exhibited in The Phillips Gallery. One day those paintings were spotted by Edward Rowan, assistant director of the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), the first of the New Deal assistance programs initiated by the federal government to aid artists during the Depression. It was at Rowan’s suggestion that Maril applied for a PWAP assignment. In 1934, with the assistance of Roland McKinney, then director of the Baltimore Museum of Art and a member of the PWAP regional committee, he was commissioned to execute a painting that he titled Sketch of Old Baltimore Waterfront (fig. 17).3 The PWAP was an experimental program approved by Congress for a period of only six 26

In his PWAP work, Maril’s style underwent remarkable changes. Although the compositional geometry remained simplified and clearly structured and all forms depicted were boldly and summarily executed with all unnecessary clutter and embellishment eliminated, a conscious concern for deep spatial recession appeared. Dependence on contemporary models significantly diminished. Both the thematic and the stylistic changes conspicuously evident in Baltimore Waterfront typify the pronounced reaction against the prevalent contemporary European aesthetic doctrine of the time and reflect the growing isolationist spirit that was overtaking many facets of life and art in America. From that standpoint, Maril’s Baltimore Waterfront, now in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, conformed well to what was regarded as the “American scene,” the desired stylistic criterion for PWAP eligibility. In fact, a review of the Corcoran Gallery exhibition, included in the final report submitted to Federal Emergency Relief Administrator Harry Hopkins when the PWAP was disbanded in 1934, expressed much satisfaction that the works demonstrated that “ . . . the American artist has become more interested in the life of his own people and the aspect of his own country than he ever was in the past.”4 Maril’s Baltimore Waterfront and several other works executed by him in the mid-1930s exemplify the conservative American scene movement, which remained popular throughout much of the Depression. Yet Maril’s work was not typically American scenist; it didn’t express nostalgic or moralistic qualities as many other American scene artists’ work did. At this time, Maril began receiving widespread recognition. He felt deep concern for the working classes and the desperate social conditions under which they lived, yet he was not strongly leftist in his political persuasion. Nevertheless, he became a member of the Artists’ Union and was periodically recognized in the pages of the short-lived journal Art Front, sponsored by the union. He was also the subject of an article written by the artist and critic Olin Dows and published in the July 1935 issue of the more conservative


American Magazine of Art, sponsored by the American Federation of Art. Maril was only 26 years old, but Dows recognized the potential of this young artist and was prompt to state, “Herman Maril’s painting is reserved, and like most good painting, it is simple. He is interested in the essentials. Each picture has its core; each is beautifully conceived and organized . . . Each is distinct in mood . . . Each picture is a distinct experience. The subject is ‘brought out.’ It is clothed in a certain poetry, a certain meaning that is essentially pictorial.”5 Though written in 1935, this description might fit Maril’s work at any time during the ensuing 50 years. Yet, interestingly enough, at the same time Dows openly warned of the possibility of two dangers in Maril’s work. One was “ . . . the exaggeration of understatement into an arid mannerism.” The other was the neglect of “ . . . the charm that detail gives, the interest of character, the superficial incidentals of things seen.”6 These same two features—understatement and lack of detail—which Dows regarded as potential shortcomings in Maril’s development, proved over the years to be among Maril’s most distinguishing qualities and his greatest strengths. Indeed, these features became the cardinal reference points to which we referred earlier, for Maril’s success has by all means rested on his consistent use of understatement and his intentional elimination of superficial incidentals. This is true of his later paintings as well as his very early ones.

Figure 18: Sunday at the Docks, 1938, oil on canvas, 28 x 36", Gift of Phillip and Phyllis Horelick

At the end of the thirties, and well into the postwar period of the forties, Maril’s work remained expressively simplified. Many of his forms are clearly built from interlocking flat planes that are entirely unarticulated except for subtle tonal variations. His emphasis on strong figural geometry is repeated in his compositional organization, with all objects carefully arranged according to a clearly structured pattern of spatial distribution. The physical setting is compositionally compact and is as uncluttered as the flat faces of buildings are unembellished. These features are already found in the background of his early Baltimore Waterfront, as well as in his 1938 Sunday at the Docks (fig. 18), a closely related painting that appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. But perhaps it is in Packing Plant (fig. 19), painted in 1945, that such tendencies are most pronounced and recognizable. There, the

Figure 19: Packing Plant, 1945, oil on canvas, 21¼ x 28", Gift of Esta C. Maril in memory of Howard Wooden

27


geometry is reduced to the barest essentials and the forms are devoid of any interest in particularism; instead, they become generalized geometric symbols with definitional characteristics fundamental to each object-idea depicted. In one sense, such statements are pure abstractions. Yet, all of his works are romantically representational statements. In no instance is the referent to the world of experimental reality ignored; never was he tempted to adopt a stylistic manner in any sense akin to the abstract expressionist experiments that were gaining interest in the postwar years. A ubiquitous feature found in Maril’s works at this time is the use of strong, dark contour lines (fig. 20), often black, which he apparently introduced to emphasize the basic drawing component of his designs. But lines are confining and, strictly speaking, do not appear in nature; Maril cast aside this feature almost completely by 1960. From that time forward, he built his forms with harmoniously related colorful and soft-toned pigmented masses that readily fuse with enveloping space. When the war was over, Maril returned to civilian life from service in the U.S. Army and soon established himself with major art galleries in New York. Although he had taught art at various schools, including the University of Maryland, College Park, throughout the prewar period, it was in 1947 that he was appointed a full-time faculty member in the University of Maryland art department. Certainly, the late forties was one of the most eventful periods of his career, for in 1948 he began to spend summers on his beloved Cape Cod, where the sea, sand, and sun were to become increasingly dominant stimuli for his painting.7 In the same year, he married Esta Cook of Baltimore, whose faithful and untiring encouragement and active and intelligent enthusiasm were always of inestimable value to him.

Figure 20: Sentry at the CP, 1942, oil on canvas, 101∕5 x 6¾"

28

Inevitably, the war left its imprint on Maril’s thinking, most especially, on the whole matter of space-object relationships. The postwar climate was a threatening one—threatening in terms of a whole spectrum of both domestic and international social and technological forces: the Cold War, fear of nuclear destruction, environmental pollution, a rapidly developing bureaucratic lifestyle, a perceived loss


of self-sufficiency. Maril was very much a social philosopher and came to view reality as something distinctly different from material substance. He interpreted man as an infinitesimal component of the total cosmos, entirely distinct from any prevalent “superman” image. To no small degree, that mental shift from an anthropocentric to a cosmocentric conceptualization of reality remained the essential ingredient of his work for the remainder of his career. He was never a cynic, yet his changed outlook was registered, perhaps subconsciously, by the infrequent portrayal of the human form. When he did incorporate human figures, he rendered them small in scale and imparted an obviously intended quality of anonymity by abandoning all individualized physical features (fig. 21). That quality of anonymity was intensified by the fact that the figural forms, without definitive outlines, consist merely of loose streaks of pigment that relinquish all physical identity and tend to dissolve into encompassing space. It is significant that the interflow between object Figure 21: Protest, 1971, oil on canvas, 40 x 48", Gift of Esta C. Maril in memory of Dan Stern and space had already appeared in Western art during the 17th and 18th centuries. At that time, under the impetus of the heliocentric theories of Copernican teaching, the is expressed by an interchange or “passage” between space and object anthropocentric interpretation gave way to a revolutionary cosmocenand owes much to early 20th century Einsteinian physics and the tric outlook. The new outlook was paralleled in art by an interest in theory of the electrical nature of matter. vast and open space, atmosphere, and light in a relaxation of contours in deference to the use of bold masses. The works of Baroque masters This is a vital aspect of contemporary thought and is certainly funsuch as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo or of Francesco Guardi are worthy damental to an understanding of Maril’s work after about 1960. It examples of this change. That way of seeing reality prevailed until is basic to Maril’s conception of reality, which he saw as “oneness” as the beginning of the 19th century but was superseded by the often distinct from “sameness.”8 That distinction is one of the central issues th reactionary climate of the 19 century and not revived until the time of 20th century life; it is basic to the dominant goal of social existence, of the analytical cubists, as we see in works by Picasso, Braque, or Gris which, for the ultimate survival of life, seemingly must rest upon the during the period after approximately 1908. In painting, this tendency “unity of diversity.”

29


TISARA PHOTOGRAPHY

of the universe and that the world is a place conveniently patterned in three-dimensional terms to accommodate man. The difference is crystal clear when we compare a painting by Leone Battista Alberti or Pietro Perugino with one by Maril.

Figure 22: Inlet, 1978, serigraph, 231⁄5 x 31", ed. 63⁄96

Maril’s active and systematic concern for the survival of life is on par with the earlier description of him as an apostle of ecology. He was an artist of much distinction, but his conscious searches and conclusions were those of an ecologist—although he recognized the well-being of mankind as a dominant aim within the scheme of existence, he saw man neither as the center of the cosmic order nor as the dominant force within that order. Except in the instance of pure portraiture, man—as he appears in the world that Maril created on canvas—is physically evident but is both anonymous and insignificantly small in scale. Understandably, such treatment is disturbing and humbling, especially since we have lived for so long believing that man is the center

30

Maril joyfully celebrated the sun, sky, land, sea, and air. He especially glorified the sandy beaches and the clean and fresh atmosphere, as other writers have so ably demonstrated (fig. 22). But he was never oblivious of the destructive side of man’s “superman complex.” The evidence was clearly at hand: polluted air; dumped waste washed ashore on sandy beaches; and oil spills and chemical wastes that pollute rivers, bays, and oceans, making them unable to support marine life and supply food for human consumption. The ideal pictorial world that Maril recorded on canvas is a world that he saw through sad and misty eyes—in many of his works of the last several decades, forms are blurred, as if out-of-focus (fig. 20). These issues constitute the major underlying theme that Maril has so eloquently expressed, consciously or subconsciously. He quietly but forcefully responded to his own sensitive feelings without directly attacking any individual or any organized group, agency, or institution. But when we are willing to listen, his works speak loudly and are appropriate and potentially effective reminders that man must not play a predatory role and endanger the earth and life, but instead must protect life. As we analyze Maril’s works, it becomes increasingly clear that his stylistic manner—to borrow a term from Ben Shahn—was very much the shape of his content until his death in 1986.


References

Figure Listing

1.

A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, 1926–1983. Witchita: Rand Publishing Co., 1984.

Figure 14: The Passenger, 1977, oil on canvas, 40 x 50"

2.

Maril, Herman. Interview by author, 21 January 1984.

3.

Wooden, op.cit., figure 5.

Figure 16: Construction Crane, 1931, oil on canvas, 20¼ x 16¼", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

4.

Public Works of Art Project—Report of the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury to Federal Emergency Relief Administrator, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1934; p. 6.

Figure 17: Sketch of Old Baltimore Waterfront, 1934, oil on fiberboard, 18⅛ x 14¼", Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum, transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor

5.

Dows, Olin. “Herman Maril,” The American Magazine of Art, July 1935, 406.

6.

Ibid., p. 411.

Figure 18: Sunday at the Docks, 1938, oil on canvas, 28 x 36", Gift of Philip and Phyllis Horelick

7.

Frank Getlein, Herman Maril, Baltimore Museum of Art, 1967.

Figure 19: Packing Plant, 1945, oil on canvas, 21¼ x 28", Gift of Esta C. Maril in memory of Howard Wooden

8.

Wooden, Howard. “Herman Maril—A Search for Oneness,” American Artists Magazine, August 1993, p. 60.

Figure 20: Sentry at the CP, 1942, oil on canvas, 101∕5 x 6¾"

Figure 15: Fish, 1975, oil on canvas, 36 x 30", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

Figure 21: Protest, 1971, oil on canvas, 40 x 48", Gift of Esta C. Maril in memory of Dan Stern Figure 22: Inlet, 1978, serigraph, 231⁄5 x 31", ed. 63⁄96

31


Bobby Donovan, Painter and Printmaker Former Assistant Director, UMUC Arts Program

A “ man may stand there and put all of America behind him.”

Henry David Thoreau Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 1865

If you travel east along Cape Cod’s route 6A, Provincetown is as far

as you can go. It’s land’s end, the very tip of the peninsula, sand and sea, almost encircled by water, nearly an island. About 300 miles to the southwest lies Manhattan. Manhattan is an island—an extremely crowded island. A few hundred miles farther down the coast you’ll find Baltimore, where artist Herman Maril was born and spent most of his life. He lived in Manhattan briefly, but found it too costly and returned to his native city. There, he painted during fall, winter, and spring. He spent summers in Provincetown. Artists, regardless of style or discipline, search for authenticity. It defines their expression, inspires their art, and gives meaning to their work. For writers, the authentic experience is in the language of the engaging story. For dancers, it’s found in movement. For abstract painters, it’s in the purely visual potency of the materials themselves. And for landscape painters, the authentic experience is hidden in that vague longing we call “a sense of place.” Most often, this sense of place is expressed through a powerful affinity to a particular locale or region. Georgia O’Keeffe found her authentic experience among the barren mountains and red canyons of New Mexico. Marsden Hartley, a rough and solid painter, embraced Maine’s rocky shore—its dark forms and restless energies were well suited to his bold visual statements. And for Herman Maril, an artist 32

with a profound appreciation for the world’s visual poetry, it was the scrub pines and open spaces of Cape Cod that spoke to him. Finding an authentic experience brings great joy, but it isn’t easy to determine what is authentic. Discovery involves risk and a willingness to let go of expectations; the artist must be willing to gamble. Professionally speaking, Maril bet long odds. When Herman and his wife Esta bought the old Long Point Post Office in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in 1958 to use as a summer studio and residence, it was more than an acquisition of a cottage retreat. It was a declaration of love and a line in the sand. The artist was declaring his priorities. He would paint beauty and work undisturbed. At a time of great cultural upheaval, Maril would not be distracted by the anxious, jostling crowd. He would not join the fray, preferring instead the internal dialogue of a quiet mind over the external noise of ambition. Maril well understood what the great 19th century transcendental writer Ralph Waldo Emerson meant when he admonished “These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter the world.” Despite the close-knit circle of writers and artists that summered there, Provincetown meant seclusion. The village provided tranquility and an opportunity for the artist to paint. It was also a choice for self-imposed exile—it meant that early every summer while en route to his beloved Provincetown, Maril would bypass New York—the island city and cultural epicenter of 20th century art. Maril knew that New York had helped countless artists establish and maintain their professional credentials. From the late 1930s until his death, Maril had gallery representation in the city. Over the years, he quietly secured a solid reputation. At the same time, Maril understood that New York’s reputation was imperfect—it’s frenzied competition and hyperactivity was contrary to his introspective nature. Herman Maril in his studio, 1984

AARON M. LEVIN

HERMAN MARIL AND PROVINCETOWN


In a 1980 interview with Ronald Becker for the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Becker asked Maril if he ever regretted his decision to remain outside of New York “where the action is” and how it may be affecting his career. An excerpt of the interview is below. Maril: I probably lose a lot of things, lose out on a lot of things, but these things are primarily in the way of PR, public relations, and also a little economics. But that is the price you pay to get some serenity and be able to work. And I would rather have the serenity to be able to work than to have less time to work and get the PR. I feel that if a person has something to say, and their work has real and genuine quality, and if it’s unique, eventually the right people will see it. Becker: You do have a lot of faith. Maril: I do. Becker calls it faith. It is faith and more. It is a belief not only in quality prevailing, it is also a belief in oneself—a belief that what the artist shares is worth sharing. Indeed, one of the most engaging aspects of Maril’s paintings is that they embody confidence. We sense we are looking at the work of an artist who is comfortable with his decisions. Throughout his long career he chose to paint in a stylized representational mode when the established art world was clamoring for abstraction. He insisted on painting subject matter—gentle interiors and quiet harbors—while the more radical wings of the cultural community abolished painting altogether for pure theory. Maril, a university art professor of 30 years, was distinctly aware of contemporary art trends and theories. He had personal friendships with some of the best-known artists of his time. A stylistic shift might well have brought him more attention. But for Maril, the external trappings of success and the excitement of public acclaim held little sway. It was the work that mattered. He once confided in a letter to his lifelong friend, poet William Bronk, that he expected little appreciation for his painting, declaring, “If they like it, it’s probably for the

wrong reasons.” Nor did he believe it was the artist’s job to overwhelm with audacity, preferring instead to approach his craft with steadfast humility. He followed an inner compass and patiently developed a personal dialogue between himself and his subject. The uncomplicated honesty of this process produced honesty in the work. This unmistakable integrity is evident to anyone who takes the time to look at Maril’s paintings. His color is clean, and his decisions are unequivocal. The works are thoughtful and well designed. Maril was not the sort of artist to adopt obvious and aggressive techniques to dance or muscle his way through indecision or poor draftsmanship. He doesn’t hide behind bluster or chase after sensational showmanship. Nor does he gravitate toward a fail-safe approach—developing a style that relies on a formula that will produce a readily predictable result. His work is lyrical and filled with light, space, color, and balance. Maril is a master technician with a deft hand and keen emotional intelligence. In his very best works, he establishes a serene detachment. And herein lies his greatest accomplishment as a painter; Maril’s artwork maintains a powerful objectivity but still exudes deep empathy for both the beauty inherent in the nature of things, and for the inescapable profundity of the human experience. Whether he is depicting a man, woman, child, cat, fish, or bird, his images have a sense of humility and respect. He presents us with an appreciation of all living things, and, with equal reverence, his art acknowledges the inanimate. From a country road to a sweeping shoreline to a city skyline, Maril depicts the inanimate with a Zen-like appreciation for effortless presence. His images tell us, “Here is what is; note its simplicity; see its beauty.” Maril’s greatest gift as an artist is that he perceived the grace and dignity in all things. He understood that art demands observation and contemplation. In his gentle way, he invites us to observe and contemplate with him. His delights become ours. The colors, the shapes, the calligraphic lines, the storm clouds, the marsh birds, and the winter trees, whether seen, felt, remembered, or imagined, establish a continuity in Maril’s art that can only be found in the miraculous harmony of life.

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PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN

Chronology 1908 1926 1928

1934

Visits Cape Cod, Massachusetts, for the first time and meets Duncan Phillips, who purchases several of the small works Maril created there

Graduates from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Begins acquaintanceship with Charles Walther

Completes his first solo exhibition, at Howard University Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

1930

Camps alone for several months at Soldiers Delight, Maryland, to paint

Eleanor Roosevelt selects Sketch of Old Baltimore Waterfront to hang in the White House.

1932

Painting voted most unpopular at exhibition of Society of Independent Artists in Washington, D.C.

1935

American Magazine of Art features Herman Maril article by Olin Dows in July issue.

1933

Receives easel painting assignments on Works Progress Administration art project. One of the works, Sketch of Old Baltimore Waterfront, is among those selected from entire national project to hang in special exhibits at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It is now part of the Smithsonian Institution collection.

1936

Marie Sterner becomes interested in Maril’s work and presents his first New York exhibition in her 57th Street gallery.

Invited to teach 10-week summer painting course at Cummington School of the Arts in Cummington, Massachusetts. Teaches alongside William Bronk, who taught poetry.

34

Born October 13, Baltimore, Maryland

Graduates from Maryland Institute College of Art


1937

Receives commission for mural from the Treasury Department Art Project for the post office in Altavista, Virginia

Lives in New York City and becomes acquainted with many painters

1939

Receives commission for mural from the Treasury Department Art Project for the post office in West Scranton, Pennsylvania

Oil painting Sunday at the Docks selected for exhibition in the 1939 World’s Fair in New York

1942–45 1946

Serves in the U.S. Army Teaches at the King-Smith School of the Creative Arts in Washington, D.C.

1946–47

Teaches at Washington Workshop of the Arts and at University of Maryland, College Park

1947

Becomes a full-time faculty member in the University of Maryland, College Park, art department

1948

Marries Esta Cook

Starts spending summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and renews acquaintanceships with Karl Knaths and Milton Avery

1949

Meets Mason F. Lord, then a student at Princeton University

1950 1954

Son, David, born Daughter, Suzanne, born. Later, she changes her name to Nadja.

1955–56

Serves as visiting instructor in painting and drawing at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art

1958

Purchases former post office as summer home in Provincetown, Massachusetts

1961

Oil painting Dark Waters featured on front page of Washington Post newspaper

1962 1964

Visits Monhegan Island, Maine Visits the Adirondacks in upstate New York

Sand and Water wins Mead Painting of the Year award

1967 1968

Visits Mexico

1971 1973 1974 1978 1980

Elected to the National Academy of Design

Visits the Southwest (New Mexico) participating in the artists’ part of the Treasury Department water reclamation program.

Travels through Italy and France Travels along the coast of California Receives honors from the Institute of Arts and Letters Gives oral history interview to Ronald Becker for the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution

1981 1983

Travels to England

1984

Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from University of Maryland University College in recognition of his lifetime of achievements

Visits Portugal and Spain

1986

Dies on September 6, at age 77, in Hyannis, Massachusetts

2008

West Gallery at University of Maryland, College Park, is named in his honor

University of Maryland University College establishes a permanent Herman Maril gallery

35


36


Plates

“I become very much absorbed in the totality of a painting’s structure . . . and that’s a lot more time-consuming than the actual painting. I like each work to have a freshness, to look as if it were done without effort, even though I may have spent many hours or days on it.” Herman Maril

Plate 1: Portrait of a Young Man, n.d., oil on canvas, 20 x 16", Collection of David Maril

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Plate 2: Cape Forms, 1950s, oil on paper, 15 x 16", Gift of Kay Hillman

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Plate 3: Big Sur, n.d., oil on canvas, 21½ x 14¼", Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Mel H. Epstein

39


Plate 4: Vase and Lillies, 1970, oil on canvas, 42 x 30", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

40


Plate 5: Dry Nets, 1963, casein gouache, 22 x 27", Gift of Francis McLaughlin

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Plate 6: Derrick, 1947, oil on wood, 8 x 11½", Gift of Lucille Hunter

42


Plate 7: Smoke Stack and Telephone Pole, 1933, gouache, 9 x 7�, Gift of Carole Miller from Dr. Francis McLaughlin Collection

43


Plate 8: Young Boy, 1938, oil on composition board, 16½ x 12½", Gift of David Maril

44


Plate 9: Birds, n.d., ink and brush, 11½ x 16½", Gift of Kay Hillman in Memory of Nessie and Leon Levine

Plate 10: Chickens and Brood, n.d., pencil and ink on paper, 12½ x 19½"

45


Plate 11: Sky, Shore and Water, n.d., oil on board 16 x 20", Gift of Martin Oppenheimer

46


Plate 12: Lone Horse, 1940, oil on panel, 8 x 12", Gift of Sue Dalsemer in memory of Gordon H. Dalsemer

47


LIGHTCHASER PHOTOGRAPHY

Plate 13: Fish, 1975, oil on canvas, 36 x 30", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

48


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Plate 14: Lapping Tide, n.d., oil on canvas, 25½ x 17½", Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Mel H. Epstein

49


Plate 15: Portuguese Village, 1985, watercolor, 15 x 22"

50


Plate 16: Sea and Horizon, n.d., watercolor, 10½ x 14", private collection

51


Plate 17: Protest, 1971, oil on canvas, 40 x 48", Gift of Esta C. Maril in memory of Dan Stern

52


Plate 18: The Passenger, 1977, oil on canvas, 40 x 50"

53


Plate 19: Near the Ridge, 1964, oil on canvas, 30 x 48", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

54


Plate 20: Untitled (Trees), n.d., ink wash on paper, 14½ x 21¾"

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LIGHTCHASER PHOTOGRAPHY

Plate 21: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1927, oil on canvas, 36 x 29他", Collection of David Maril

56


PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN

Plate 22: Sketch of Old Baltimore Waterfront, 1934, oil on fiberboard, 18⅛ x 14¼", Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum, transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor

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Plate 23: Untitled (At the Docks), n.d., oil on canvas, 7½ x 23¼", Gift of Selma Donner

58


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Plate 24: Deck at 5, n.d., oil on canvas, 13½ x 36", Gift of Selma Donner

59


Plate 25: The Old Schoolhouse, 1938, silkscreen, 7½ x 11½", Gift of Sue Dalsemer

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Plate 26: Ploughing, 1940, silkscreen, 7¾ x 11¼"

61


Plate 27: Smoke Stack and Trees, 1932, gouache on paper, 9½ x 7", Gift of Carole Miller from the Dr. Francis McLaughlin Collection

62


LIGHTCHASER PHOTOGRAPHY

Plate 28: Interior with Pitcher, 1931, oil on canvas, 25 x 18", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

63


Plate 29: Dusk, 1968, oil on canvas, 40 x 48", Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Maril

64


Plate 30: The Weirs, 1955, oil on canvas, 48 x 38½", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

65


Plate 31: Girl with Cat, 1961, watercolor and wash on paper, 19 x 9¼", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

66


Plate 32: Trees and Mountains, 1976, pen and ink on paper, 14 x 11"

67


Plate 33: At the Park, 1953, oil on canvas, 24 x 18", Gift of Harry Patton

68


PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN

Plate 34: Towards Hunt Valley, 1986, oil on canvas, 20 x 28", private collection

69


Plate 35: Hurricane Waters, n.d., watercolor, 12 x 18他", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

70


Plate 36: Beach Sketch, 1968, ink wash on paper, 15 x 22¼"

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Plate 37: Molly, 1975, acrylic on paper, 21他 x 15", Gift of Sue Dalsemer in memory of Gordon H. Dalsemer

72


Plate 38: Kitchen, 1976, oil on canvas, 50 x 40", Gift of Esta C. Maril in honor of Dr. and Mrs. T. Benjamin Massey

73


Plate 39: Winter Thaw, 1979, oil on canvas, 30 x 40", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

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Plate 40: Trees and Meadows, 1978, ink wash on paper, 13¾ x 20½"

Plate 41: The Road, 1985, oil on canvas, 29 x 13¼", Gift of David Maril

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LIGHTCHASER PHOTOGRAPHY

Plate 42: Swamp and Cattails II, 1959, oil on canvas, 30 x 40", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

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Plate 43: Dark Waters, 1978, serigraph, 16Âź x 19", ed. 90/100

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Plate 44: Angry Waters, 1978, serigraph, 23Âź x 31", ed. 62/100

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TISARA PHOTOGRAPHY

Plate 45: Inlet, 1978, serigraph, 231⁄5 x 31", ed. 63⁄96

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Plate 46: The Flats, 1978, serigraph, 16¼ x 19½", ed. 55∕100

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Plate 47: Cattails, 1978, serigraph, 19½ x 24½", ed. 68⁄100

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Selected Exhibitions Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, DC: 1935

Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY: 1991, 1997 Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York, NY: 1992, 1994

Marie Sterner Gallery, New York, NY: 1936

Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA: 1994, 2008

Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD: 1937, 1946, 1967

St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD: 1995

Boyer Gallery, Philadelphia, PA: 1937

Adirondack Community College, Queensbury, NY: 1995, 2008

Wells College, Aurora, NY: 1939

Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH: 1998

Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science, and Art, Scranton, PA: 1940, 1993

Galerie Francoise, Baltimore, MD: 1998, 2000

MacBeth Gallery, New York, NY: 1941, 1943, 1948, 1951 Whyte Gallery, Washington, DC: 1944, 1947, 1950 University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN: 1949 Barnett-Aden Gallery, Washington, DC: 1951 Babcock Galleries, New York, NY: 1953, 1956, 1959 Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA: 1955 Franz Bader Gallery, Washington DC: 1956, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1986

Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, MA: 2000 James Graham and Sons, New York, NY: 2000, 2002 University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD: 2001, 2003 David Findlay Jr. Fine Art, New York, NY: 2003, 2005, 2008 ACME Fine Art, Boston, MA: 2004, 2007 Ward Museum, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD: 2008 Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD: 2009 Berta Walker Gallery, Provincetown, MA: 2009

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC: 1961 Castellane Gallery, New York, NY: 1961, 1962 Castellane Gallery, Provincetown, MA: 1962

Selected Collections

Athena Gallery, New Haven, CT: 1963

Adirondack Community College: William Bronk Collection, Queensbury, NY

Wellfleet Art Gallery, Wellfleet, MA: 1964, 1968, 1970, 1974

Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Auburn, AL

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD: 1965

American University, Washington, DC

Baltimore Junior College, Baltimore, MD: 1965

Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Forum Gallery, New York, NY: 1965, 1968, 1971, 1974, 1980, 1983

Baltimore Museum of Art: Cone Collection, Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland, College Park, MD: 1977

Bernstein Memorial Collection, Baltimore, MD

American Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY: 1978

Bezalel National Art Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville, VA: 1981

Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH

Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS: 1984

Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, MA

Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, FL: 1990, 1996, 2009

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN: 1991

Collection of Claude de Boisanger, Paris, France

Academy of the Arts, Easton, MD: 1991

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

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Delaware Fine Arts Center, Wilmington, DE Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science, and Art, Scranton, PA Howard University, Washington, DC

Selected Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

Johns Hopkins University: Mason Lord Collection, Baltimore, MD

Purchase Prize, Baltimore Museum of Art: 1935, 1939, 1940, 1951, 1963

Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD

Purchase Prize, Peale Municipal Museum: 1947, 1950, 1951

Robert Meyerhoff Collection, Baltimore, MD Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Stefan Hirsch Memorial Award, Exhibition of Audubon Artists, National Academy of Design, 1950

Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

Artists Prize, Baltimore Museum of Art, 1963

National Academy Museum, New York, NY

Sand and Water painting selected as Painting of the Year, Mead Paper and Packing Co., 1963

Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY

Newark Museum, Newark, NJ New York University, New York, NY Post Office Mural Projects, West Scranton, PA; Alta Vista, VA

Silvermine Guild Award for First Prize at 14th Annual New England Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Silvermine Guild Art Center, 1963

Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA

Child Hassam Purchase Award, Institute of Arts and Letters, 1978

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

Professor Emeritus, Department of Fine Art, University of Maryland, College Park, 1978

Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA Senate Office Building, Washington, DC Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Herman Maril Gallery established, University of Maryland University College, 1983 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree, University of Maryland University College, 1984

University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD

National Academy of Design Awards, Full Member Award, 1986

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Herman Maril Gallery named in his honor, University of Maryland, College Park, 2008

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA

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Selected Publications

Painter and Poet: The Art of Herman Maril/The Poetry of William Bronk, Adirondick College, 2008.

Artist and Advocate: Nine Kaiden and Bartlett Hayes, 1967.

The Phillips Collection: Duncan Phillips, 1921.

The Baltimore Sun 150 Year Anniversary Publication “People Who Shaped the Way We Live, 1837–1987.”

The Phillips Collections, A Museum of Modern Art and Its Source, catalog, Washington, 1952.

Catalog, Academy of Arts, Easton: David Scott.

Primer of Modern Art: Sheldon Cheney, 1924.

Catalog for Retrospective at Wichita Museum and Other Writings: Howard Wooden Contemporary American Painting: Grace Pagana.

Public Works for Section of Fine Arts Murals at Post Offices in Alta Vista, Virginia and West Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Dows, Olin, “Herman Maril,” American Magazine of Art, Vol. 28, No. 7, July 1935, pp. 406–411.

The Story of Modern Art: Sheldon Cheney, 1958.

Herman Maril: Monogram with an Introduction by Frank Getlein, Baltimore Museum of Art, 1967. International Biography in Art, Germany. International Directory of Biographies, England. Modern Art in America: Martha Cheney, 1939. Myers, Bernard, Modern Art in the Making, New York, 1950.

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Watson, Forbes, American Painting Today, Washington, The American Federation of Arts, 1939. Who’s Who in America, Jacques Cattell Press, 1976. Who’s Who in America Art, Peter Hastings Falk, 1999, 1985. Who’s Who in the East, 22nd Ed. 1989–1990 Marquis. Who’s Who in World Jewry, 1987–Present.


Index of Artwork Angry Waters, 1978, serigraph, 23¼ x 31", ed. 62⁄100

pl. 44, p. 78

At the Park, 1953, oil on canvas, 24 x 18", Gift of Harry Patton

pl. 33, p. 68

Beach Sketch, 1968, ink wash on paper, 15 x 22¼"

pl. 36, p. 71

Big Sur, n.d., oil on canvas, 21½ x 14¼", Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Mel H. Epstein

Girl with Cat, 1961, watercolor and wash on paper, 19 x 9¼", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

pl. 31, p. 66

Hurricane Waters, n.d., watercolor, 12 x 18¾", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

pl. 35, p. 70

In the Studio, 1973, oil on canvas, 18 x 26", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth Inlet, 1978, serigraph, 231∕5 x 31", ed. 63⁄96

pl. 3, p. 39

Interior with Dog, 1973, oil on canvas, 50 x 40", Gift of Ronald E. Becker

cover fig. 22, pl. 45, p. 30, 79 fig. 7, p. 15

Birds, n.d., ink and brush, 11½ x 16½", Gift of Kay Hillman in Memory of Nessie and Leon Levine

pl. 9, p. 45

Interior with Pitcher, 1931, oil on canvas, 25 x 18", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

Cape Forms, 1950s, oil on paper, 15 x 16", Gift of Kay Hillman

pl. 2, p. 38

Captain Midnight, 1986, oil on canvas, 29 x 40"

fig. 9, p. 17

Kitchen, 1976, oil on canvas, 50 x 40", Gift of Esta C. Maril in honor of Dr. and Mrs. T. Benjamin Massey

pl. 38, p. 73

Cattails, 1978, serigraph, 19½ x 24½", ed. 68⁄100

pl. 47, p. 81

Chickens and Brood, n.d., pencil and ink on paper, 12½ x 19½"

Lapping Tide, n.d., oil on canvas, 25½ x 17½", Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Mel H. Epstein

pl. 14, p. 49

pl. 10, p. 45

Construction Crane, 1931, oil on canvas, 20¼ x 16¼", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

fig. 16, p. 25

Lone Horse, 1940, oil on panel, 8 x 12", Gift of Sue Dalsemer in memory of Gordon H. Dalsemer

pl. 12, p. 47

Dark Waters, 1978, serigraph, 16¼ x 19", ed. 90⁄100

pl. 43, p. 77

Deck at 5, n.d., oil on canvas, 13½ x 36”, Gift of Selma Donner

pl. 24, p. 59

Meadowy, 1984, oil on canvas, 30 x 40"

fig. 2, pl. 28, p. 10, 63

p. 4

Molly, 1975, acrylic on paper, 21¾ x 15", Gift of Sue Dalsemer in memory of Gordon H. Dalsemer

pl. 37, p. 72

Derrick, 1947, oil on wood, 8 x 11½", Gift of Lucille Hunter

pl. 6, p. 42

Near the Ridge, 1964, oil on canvas, 30 x 48", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

pl. 19, p. 54

Dry Nets, 1963, casein gouache, 22 x 27", Gift of Francis McLaughlin

pl. 5, p. 41

The Old Schoolhouse, 1938, silkscreen, 7½ x 11½", Gift of Sue Dalsemer

pl. 25, p. 60 fig. 4, p. 12

Duet, 1973, oil on canvas, 47½ x 35½", Gift of Allen Horelick

fig. 10, p. 18

On Maneuvers, 1942, gouache, 7 x 15½", private collection

Dusk, 1968, oil on canvas, 40 x 48", Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Maril

pl. 29, p. 64

The Flats, 1978, serigraph, 16¼ x 19½", ed. 55∕100

pl. 46, p. 80

Packing Plant, 1945, oil on canvas 21¼ x 28", Gift of Esta C. Maril in memory of Howard Wooden

Fish, 1975, oil on canvas, 36 x 30", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

Pale Inlet, n.d., oil on canvas, 23½ x 29½"

fig. 5, 19 p. 13, 27 fig. 12, p. 20

fig. 15, pl.13, p. 24, 48

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The Passenger, 1977, oil on canvas, 40 x 50" Ploughing, 1940, silkscreen, 7¾ x 11¼" Portrait of a Young Man, n.d., oil on canvas, 20 x 16", Collection of David Maril Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1927, oil on canvas, 36 x 29¾", Collection of David Maril Portuguese Village, 1985, watercolor, 15 x 22" Protest, 1971, oil on canvas, 40 x 48", Gift of Esta C. Maril in memory of Dan Stern The Road, 1985, oil on canvas, 29 x 13¼", Gift of David Maril Sea and Horizon, n.d., watercolor, 10½ x 14", private collection

fig. 14, pl. 18, p. 23, 53 pl. 26, p. 61

Smoke Stack and Trees, 1932, gouache on paper, 9½ x 7", Gift of Carole Miller from Dr. Francis McLaughlin Collection

pl. 1, p. 37

Sunday at the Docks, 1938, oil on canvas, 28 x 36", Gift of Philip and Phyllis Horelick

fig. 1, pl. 21, p. 10, 56 pl. 15, p. 50

fig. 21, pl. 17, p. 29, 52 pl. 41, p. 75 fig. 13, pl. 16, p. 21, 51

Swamp and Cattails II, 1959, oil on canvas, 30 x 40", Courtesy of David Findlay Jr. Fine Art

Trees and Meadows, 1978, ink wash on paper, 13¾ x 20½"

pl. 40, p. 75

Trees and Mountains, 1976, pen and ink on paper, 14 x 11"

pl. 32, p. 67

Untitled (At the Docks), n.d., oil on canvas, 7½ x 23¼", Gift of Selma Donner

pl. 23, p. 58 pl. 20, p. 55

Untitled (Trees), n.d., ink wash on paper, 14½ x 21¾"

Skaters, 1966, oil on canvas, 50 x 36", Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jules Horelick

fig. 11, p. 19

Vase and Lillies, 1970, oil on canvas, 42 x 30", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

Sky, Shore and Water, n.d., oil on board 16 x 20", Gift of Martin Oppenheimer Smoke Stack and Telephone Pole, 1933, gouache, 9 x 7", Gift of Carole Miller from Dr. Francis McLaughlin Collection

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The Weirs, 1955, oil on canvas, 48 x 38½" Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

pl. 11, p. 46

fig. 8, pl. 42, p. 16, 76 pl. 34, p. 69

fig. 20, p. 28

fig. 17, pl. 22, p. 26, 57

fig. 3, 18 p. 11, 27

Towards Hunt Valley, 1986, oil on canvas, 20 x 28”, private collection

Sentry at the CP, 1942, oil on canvas, 101∕5 x 6¾"

Sketch of Old Baltimore Waterfront, 1934, oil on fiberboard, 18⅛ x 14¼", Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum, transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor

pl. 27, p. 62

pl. 4, p. 40 fig. 6, pl. 30, p. 14, 65

Winter Thaw, 1979, oil on canvas, 30 x 40", Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth

pl. 39, p. 74

Young Boy, 1938, oil on composition board, 16½ x 12½", Gift of David Maril

pl. 8, p. 44

pl. 7, p. 43

* All artwork donated by Esta C. Maril except where indicated


UMUC ART ADVISORY BOARD Michèle E. Jacobs, Chair Managing Director Special Events at Union Station Anne V. Maher, Esq., Vice Chair Attorney at Law Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker, LLP Eva J. Allen, PhD Collegiate Professor University of Maryland University College I-Ling Chow, honorary member Regional President and Managing Director, Ret. Asia Bank, N.A. Paula Cleggett Associate Director for Policy, The Curb Center Vanderbilt University Linda Derrick Collector and Patron of the Arts Patricia Dubroof Artist/Consultant IONA Senior Services Karen Goldstein, honorary member Art Collector Juanita Boyd Hardy Director, Millennium Arts Salon Managing Principal Tiger Management Consulting Group, LLC Sharon Smith Holston, Past Chair Artist’s Representative and Co-owner Holston Originals Pamela Holt Consultant Public Affairs Administration John K. Jacobs President Artex Fine Art Services Eric Key Director, Arts Program University of Maryland University College

Philip Koch Maryland Artist Professor, Maryland Institute College of Art

Israel Feldman President Feldman & Associates

Thomas Li, honorary member Chairman and CEO, Ret. Biotech Research Labs, Inc.

Michèle E. Jacobs Managing Director Special Events at Union Station

David Maril, honorary member News Copy Editor Brockton Enterprise Newspaper

Leronia A. Josey, Esq. Attorney at Law Law Office of Leronia Josey

Harriet E. McNamee Art Historian University of Maryland University College

Donald S. Orkand, PhD, Former Chair Founding Partner DC Ventures and Associates, LLC

Barbara Stephanic, PhD, Past Vice Chair Professor of Art History College of Southern Maryland

Lt. Gen. Emmett Paige Jr., Ret. Vice President of Operations, Ret. Department of Defense and Intelligence Systems Lockheed Martin Information Technology

UMUC BOARD OF VISITORS Mark J. Gerencser, Chair Executive Vice President Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Evelyn J. Bata, PhD Collegiate Professor University of Maryland University College

Charles E. (Ted) Peck Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ret. The Ryland Group, Inc. Sharon Pinder Founder and Chief Executive Officer The Pinder Group

Richard F. Blewitt President and Chief Executive Officer The Blewitt Foundation

Brig. Gen. Velma Richardson, Ret. Vice President, DoD IT Programs and Special Projects IS&GS Lockheed Martin Corporation

Joseph V. Bowen Jr. Vice President of Administration McKissack & McKissack

Donald Shepard Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Ret. AEGON N.V.

David W. Bower President and Chief Executive Officer Data Computer Corporation of America

Gen. John ( Jack) Vessey Jr., Ret. Former Chairman U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

Stephen A. Burch, JD Chairman of the Board of Directors University of Maryland Medical System

William T. (Bill) Wood, JD

Wood Law Offices, LLC

John M. Derrick Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ret. Pepco Holdings, Inc.

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About the Authors Howard E. Wooden was a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. From 1975 to 1988, he was director of the Wichita Art Museum—Kansas’s largest museum. He is credited with acquiring more than 1,500 works for the museum and bringing national attention to the museum and its collection. Prior to his role in Wichita, he was director of the Swope Art Museum in Terri Haute, Indiana from 1965 through 1975. Wooden had an interest in 18th and 19th century British watercolor as well as Greek history and architecture. Over the years, he became an American art connoisseur. His interest in American art was evident as he developed an American art collection at the Wichita Art Museum that includes works from the Great Depression to the modern era. David W. Scott was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, and raised in Claremont, California. After graduating from high school, he took a summer painting class with Millard Sheets, a leading figure in the California Watercolor Society of the 1930s and 1940s. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Harvard University and a Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts from what was then Claremont Graduate School and is now Claremont Graduate University. After college, he traveled to New York to study at the Art Students League of New York. During World War II, he served in a photo intelligence unit of the Air Force, taking photos of Europe and North Africa. He became interested in European art history and in 1946 began teaching art history at Scripps College in Claremont, California. He eventually became the department chair. In 1960, he received his doctorate from University of California, Berkeley. In 1963, he was employed as the assistant director at the National Collection of Fine Arts at the Smithsonian Institution, currently the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 1964, he was named the musuem director and began a quest to develop it into a world-class museum. In 1969, he was named the planning director for the expansion of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. In 1984, he retired to renew his passion for painting. He died in 2009 at the age of 92.

Robert Donovan, a native of Massachusetts, is an arts advocate, curator, writer, and visual artist. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, Massachussetts, and has pursued advanced studies at American University in Washington, D.C. From 1999 to 2005, he was the executive director of the Hyattstown Mill Arts Project, a nonprofit cultural arts organization dedicated to preserving the cultural and historical heritage of the region. He was an art instructor for Montgomery College and the Red Wiggler Foundation from 1984 to 2007. From 2005 to 2010, he was assistant director of the Arts Program at University of Maryland University College. He also served as curator for the department and mounted numerous visual arts exhibitions at the university. David Maril has been a columnist and news/features copy editor for the Brockton, Massachusetts Enterprise for more than 10 years. He is also serving his second term as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues in difficult economic times. Previously, Maril was sports editor of the The Milford Daily News for 25 years and covered the Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots while winning a number of writing and section design awards. He continues to serve on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association and is a voter in Baseball’s Hall of Fame selection process. A native of Baltimore, he is the son of artist Herman Maril and helps manage a family foundation supportive of educational projects related to his late father’s work. He is also a long-time member of the University of Maryland University College Art Advisory Board and has an English degree from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Contributors Project Manager: Donna Grove Editor: Kate McLoughlin Designer: Jennifer Norris Production Manager: Scott Eury All photography by Cade Martin except where indicated 10-EA-067

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About the UMUC Collections Since 1978, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) has proudly shown works from a large collection of international and Maryland artists a few miles from the nation’s capital, at the UMUC Inn and Conference Center in Adelphi, Maryland and, more recently, at the UMUC Academic Center at Largo in Largo, Maryland. Through its Arts Program, the university provides a prestigious and wide-ranging forum for emerging and established artists. UMUC’s Maryland Artists Collections include more than 1,500 artworks and constitute a comprehensive collection of 20th- and 21st-century Maryland art. The university’s Asian Collections consist of more than 280 pieces of Chinese art, Japanese prints, and Balinese folk art, dating from the Sung Dynasty (960–1279 a.d.) through the 19th century, a historical reach of 10 centuries. The UMUC collection of Japanese prints includes more than 120 prints by 35 artists. Artworks from the UMUC Maryland Artists Collections and Asian Collections are on display throughout the UMUC Inn and Conference Center, which is open to the public seven days a week and is visited by more than 100,000 students, scholars, and visitors each year.

About UMUC University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is the largest public university in the United States. As one of the 11 degree-granting institutions of the University System of Maryland, this global university specializes in high-quality academic programs tailored to working adults. UMUC has earned a worldwide reputation for excellence as a comprehensive virtual university and, through a combination of classroom and distance-learning formats, provides educational opportunities to 90,000 students. The university is proud to offer highly acclaimed faculty and world-class student services to educate students online, throughout Maryland, across the United States, and in 27 countries and territories around the world. UMUC serves its students through undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, noncredit leadership development, and customized programs. For more information regarding UMUC and its programs, visit www.umuc.edu. Cover artwork: In the Studio, 1973, oil on canvas, 18 x 26", 26”, Gift of Dr. Mary Ainsworth Photo by Steven Halperson, Tisara Photography


UMUC Herman Maril Collection, 2011  

Learn about the University of Maryland University College Herman Maril Collection through "His Own Path: The Spirit and Legacy of Herman Mar...

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