This work by John Marin depicts boats in a harbor

John Marin

American, 1870–1953

New York Harbor, c. 1925

Watercolor on board

3¾ x 4¾ inches

Signed lower right



John Marin was a key figure in American Modernism but did not receive formal art training until he was nearly 30, studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at the Art Students League in New York. Beginning in 1905 Marin spent six years in Paris. There, he met the photographer Edward Steichen, who showed some of Marin’s watercolors to Alfred Stieglitz. Beginning in 1909, Stieglitz frequently exhibited Marin’s work in his gallery and became a close friend and patron.

Marin produced close to 2,000 oil paintings in his lifetime—an average of 40 a year—and typically painted about 100 watercolors during his summers in Maine. In 1925 stomach problems prevented Marin from making his annual summer trip, and he painted along the Hudson River instead. The present work was likely created at this time. Elements of the Cubist style he embraced during the 1920s are evident in the composition.

This work by John Marin depicts boats in a harbor