In 1908, Larry Earle recalled his first
encounter with Harting
Like the vanishing rails of the road of perspective, memory looks back upon the
converging lines of time, and dimly -- very dimly -- I see the name Hartung: My first
instructor in Art.... A good bit ago -- isn't it?
And a little chap of twelve could have been seen climbing up a long sandy hill
to the home of the great (?) and only artist of Grand Rapids, Michigan -- Hartung.... A
little old Hollander the boy found. Kindly, genial and happy to find even a small boy with
thoughts turned with interest toward his profession. How did the man ever come to leave
his dear and picturesque home -- The very Paradise for an artist -- and settle in far away
Michigan? And in the Fifties -- when the state was one vast Wilderness, and the thought of
every man was to build himself a home -- a shelter, simply -- and beg the earth by
constant toil from day to day to give him but return enough to feed his brood.... To live
by painting pictures, then and there! How could the man have thought of such a thing?
"Would he take me for a pupil?" "Oh yes, but dis art is serious business,
my boy, and you must learn to draw goot -- first of all -- and den draw some more, and
always draw, draw, draw, for dat de foundations of everything." And while he talked,
and drank his tea, the boy's eyes wandered around the little room he called his
"Studio" -- and marveled at the skill of this dear man in all he saw. Little
minter scenes in Holland mostly; Quaint figures on ice; On skates or pushing sleds here
and there, a scene along the coast. All masterpieces to the boy of twelve: And were they
-From Artists of Grand Rapids 1840-1980, J. Gray Sweeney; Grand Rapids,
1981: The Grand Rapids Art Museum, The Grand Rapids Public Museum
Marinus Harting was born about 1815 in Delft, Holland. His family later moved to
Arnheim, near Rotterdam. He moved to America in 1849 because his sweetheart, the daughter
of Arnheim's burgomeister, had emigrated there. On May 1, 1851, at the Dutch Reformed
Church in Greenwich Village, New York City, Marinus and Hendrikje Liesveld were married.
He and his wife arrived in Grand Rapids in 1854.
Marinus Hartung, 1815?-1861
LANDSCAPE WITH FALLS, circa 1850's
Oil on canvas, 22-1/4" x 28-1/2"
-From Artists of Grand Rapids 1840-1980,
Sweeney; Grand Rapids, 1981:
The Grand Rapids Art Museum, The Grand Rapids Public Museum