John Marin Collection Donated to Arkansas Arts Center

The Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock has received a gift of a large collection of artworks by John Marin, an important American modernist artist best known for watercolors whose subjects ranged from landscapes and seascapes to urban scenes.

Norma B. Marin, the widow of the artist's son, John Marin Jr., and the administrator of Marin Sr.'s estate, made the donation of 290 watercolors and drawings to the Little Rock institution.

"This gift, together with several works by the artist already in the collection, establishes the Arkansas Arts Center as the second largest repository of works by John Marin in the world," the center said in a news release. "The Arts Center’s collection is surpassed only by that of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C."

Marin, who was born in New Jersey in 1870 and died in 1953, was a member of a group of avant-garde American artists, called "the Stieglitz circle," whose works were promoted by Alfred Stieglitz, the photographer and promoter of modern art.

The Arts Center said it is planning an exhibition, tentatively scheduled for 2016, of Marin's work.

"This is a very important gift to the Arkansas Arts Center and reinforces our long-standing commitment to the collection, preservation, and display of works on paper," said Arkansas Arts Center Executive Director Todd Herman. "This large group of Marin drawings and watercolors adds great depth to an already strong collection of drawings by American and European modern artists. We are grateful to Norma Marin and the estate for entrusting these works to the Arkansas Arts Center."

"I am thrilled that this collection of my father-in-law's watercolors and drawings is going to the Arkansas Arts Center, where it will give people a deeper understanding of his work," said Norma Marin. "The Arts Center has a long history of collecting and exhibiting great American works on paper on paper, so I feel like we've found the perfect home for them."