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|Dimensions||5 1/2 x 8 in. (13.97 x 20.32 cm)|
|Credit Line||Bates College Museum of Art, Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection, gift of the Marsden Hartley Estate, 1951.2.34|
The Desert of Friendship was a gift to Hartley from fellow artist Mark Tobey; in fact, they exchanged paintings—Hartley gave Tobey Still Life with Two Pears (now in the Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mark Tobey). The two artists probably met in New York City and shared an interests and intense discussions about mysticism, art and music. Hartley wrote an essay on Tobey in 1931 based on two exhibitions that included work by him. A passage from that essay speaks to the essence of The Desert of Friendship—its enigmatic shapes and content. "Tobey," writes Hartley, "is a clairvoyant, a revealer of the content of shapes, and he finds a consistent harmonic synthesis for these revelations" ("Mark Tobey," 1931, On Art by Marsden Hartley, ed. Gail R. Scott. New York: Horizon Press, 1982, pp.182-185).
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