Raised by his grandparents and two aunts in Rutherford, New Jersey, Modern artist John Marin was considered to be pioneer American Abstract Expressionists. He briefly attended Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT), a private school in New Jersey to study architecture, but decided to enroll in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1899. Marin also studied at the Art Students League of New York. Like many artists he traveled to Paris to study and was exposed to modern art of the day. He spent six years in Europe traveling to the Netherlands, England, Belgium, and Italy. It was while overseas that Marin developed what became known as his trademark; abstraction and linear art with watercolors.
In 1909, John Marin held his first exhibition at the 291, a gallery owned by Alfred Stieglitz in New York City. They developed a close friendship and during the next forty years Marin held an annual exhibit in one of Stieglitz’s galleries. Marin’s best known work came from his travels to the coast of Maine, where each year he would paint the sea and skyline.
He was honored by both Yale and the University of Maine with a Doctorate in Fine Arts as well as receiving the prestigious elder statesman of American Art. His work is now a part of many important permanent collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. John Marin’s “The Circus No. 1” was also acquired in 2007 for the Green Room at the White House.