The Portraits

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Bertram Hartman Self-Portrait

Artist
Bertram Hartman, 1882 - 1960
Sitter
Bertram Hartman, 1882 - 1960
Date
1935
Type
Drawing
Medium
Watercolor over graphite on paper
Dimensions
Image/Sheet: 39 x 56.9cm (15 3/8 x 22 3/8")
Mat: 63.5 x 76.2cm (25 x 30")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Kurt Delbanco
Object number
S/NPG.91.203
Exhibition Label
Bertram Hartman 1882-1960
Kansas-born artist Bertram Hartman, posing with arch solemnity in a studio littered with cats and portfolios, was once well known in the artistic circles of New York and Paris. A close friend of writer Ernest Hemingway and artists John Marin, Gaston Lachaise, and William and Marguerite Zorach, Hartman exhibited his oils and watercolors alongside works by prominent American modernists. Critics admired the multiple perspectives and cubist patterning of his landscapes and skyscrapers, and particularly liked his watercolors. "Forms, light, and patterns of color interplay in sweeping rhythms," one reviewer noted. Hartman used the same playful repetition of geometric shapes to animate this wry, attenuated self-portrait. The artist was also recognized for his batik textiles, book illustrations, stained glass, mosaics, and designs for rugs hooked by his wife. Ultimately his reputation suffered when he abandoned his decorative designs to focus exclusively on mural and easel painting.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection