Skip to main content
image alt

Marsden Hartley

The Iron Cross

1915

image alt

The American modernist painter Marsden Hartley never experienced World War I as a soldier, yet he celebrated the German patriotism he witnessed during the early war years while living in Berlin. The Iron Cross, titled after the German military award won by the officer Karl von Freyburg, is one of a group of Hartley's paintings known as the War Motif series. In these works Hartley pays tribute to von Freyburg—a close friend of his—through stylized and abstracted symbols, the regalia of a soldier’s uniform, and other visual elements of military pageantry. A modern form of portraiture that does not depict the physical features or personality of the subject, this work commemorates von Freyburg through primary colors, geometric shapes, and planar patterns that recall the abstractions of both Cubism and Constructivism. [Permanent collection label, 2019]

  • Artist Marsden Hartley (American, 1877–1943)
  • Title The Iron Cross
  • Date 1915
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions unframed | 47 1/4 x 47 1/4 in.
  • Credit line University purchase, Bixby Fund, 1952
  • Object number WU 3840

World War I and American Art
Frist Art Museum, 10/06/2017 - 01/21/2018

World War I: War of Images, Images of War
Musée Würth France Erstein, 09/27/2016 - 01/08/2017
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 09/11/2015 - 01/04/2016
Getty Research Institute, 11/18/2014 - 04/19/2015

Marsden Hartley–The German Paintings
[Not lent to Berlin] Marsden Hartley–Die deuschen Bilder 1913–1915, Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin, Germany), 04/05/2014 - 06/29/2014
Marsden Hartley–The German Paintings, 1913–1915, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 08/03/2014 - 11/30/2014

Frederick Hartt and American Abstraction in the 1950s: Building the Collection at Washington University in St. Louis
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 05/04/2012 - 08/27/2012

1914! The Avant-Garde and the War
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid, Spain), 10/06/2008 - 01/11/2009

Picasso to Pollock: H.W. Janson and the Legacy of Modern Art at Washington University in St. Louis
Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum (San Antonio, Texas), 08/17/2004 - 10/24/2004

Marsden Hartley: American Modernist
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 10/11/2003 - 01/11/2004
The Phillips Collection, 06/07/2003 - 09/07/2003
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 01/17/2003 - 04/20/2003

H. W. Janson and the Legacy of Modern Art at Washington University in St. Louis
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 08/30/2002 - 12/08/2002
Salander-O’Reilly Galleries (New York, New York), 03/12/2002 - 04/06/2002

Modern Art and America: Alfred Steiglitz and His New York Galleries
National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), 01/28/2001 - 04/22/2001

Marsden Hartley: Modern American Visionary
Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 01/25/1998 - 03/29/1998

Early Modern European and American Art
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 09/08/1998 - 10/12/1998

Dictated By Life: Marsden Hartley and Robert Indiana
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, 04/14/1995 - 06/18/1995
Terra Museum of American Art, 07/11/1995 - 09/17/1995

A Gallery of Modern Art
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 08/09/1994 - 10/16/1994

Twentieth Century Art from the Washington University Collection
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 01/28/1994 - 03/27/1994

In Quest of Excellence: Civic Pride, Patronage, Connoisseurship
Pérez Art Museum Miami (Miami, Florida), 01/14/1984 - 04/22/1984

American Masters of Twentieth-Century Art
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 05/07/1982 - 06/20/1982

The Centennial Exhibition
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 05/15/1981 - 10/11/1981

Marsden Hartley
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley, 01/12/1981 - 03/08/1981
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 10/24/1980 - 12/14/1980
Art Institute of Chicago, 06/04/1980 - 08/03/1980
Whitney Museum of American Art, 03/04/1980 - 05/25/1980

Summer Selections
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 05/24/1979 - 08/31/1979

Marsden Hartley, Painter/Poet
Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, 03/10/1969 - 04/27/1969
Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, 01/10/1969 - 02/16/1969
USC Fisher Museum of Art, 11/15/1968 - 12/15/1968

The Stieglitz Circle
Allentown Art Museum (Allentown, Pennsylvania), 09/04/1962 - 09/25/1962
Boise Art Museum (Boise, Idaho), 06/26/1962 - 07/17/1962
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon), 05/21/1962 - 06/11/1962
Frye Art Museum (Seattle, Washington), 04/20/1962 - 05/11/1962
Quincy Art Center (Quincy, Illinois), 03/09/1962 - 03/30/1962
Speed Art Museum (Louisville, Kentucky), 02/01/1962 - 02/22/1962
Gibbes Museum of Art (Charleston, South Carolina), 10/10/1962 - 10/31/1962
Orange County Museum of Art (Costa Mesa, California), 05/13/1963 - 06/19/1963
Augustana College Art Museum (Rock Island, Illinois), 04/08/1963 - 04/29/1963
Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester (Rochester, New York), 03/01/1963 - 03/24/1963
Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University (Durham, North Carolina), 01/18/1963 - 02/18/1963
Public Library of Winston Salem and Forsyth County (Winston-Salem, North Caorlina), 12/21/1962 - 01/11/1963
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (Memphis, Tennessee), 11/11/1962 - 12/02/1962

Opening Exhibition of Mark C. Steinberg Memorial Hall
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 04/29/1960

Exhibition of Paintings from College and University Collections
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio), 01/20/1953 - 02/15/1953

Revolution and Tradition in American Art
Brooklyn Museum, 11/15/1951 - 01/06/1952

Paintings by Marsden Hartley (1977–1943)
Paul Rosenberg & Co. (New York, New York), 04/16/1951 - 05/12/1951

Exhibition of Paintings by Marsden Hartley
Gallery 291 (New York, New York), 04/04/1916 - 05/22/1916

One-Man-Show
Haas-Heye Galerie Münchener Graphik-Verlag (Berlin, Germany)

1952
Paul Rosenberg and Co., New York

This artwork record may be incomplete or need refinement. Our staff actively researches the collection and revises records when new information is available. If you have questions or comments about this record, please contact us.