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In 1951, Hartley's neice, Norma Gene Berger, donated her collection of Hartley's belongings to Bates College, to insure that his dearest possessions would remain in his birthplace.

Hartley was proud of Maine and he wrote frequently over the years of this feeling: "It is inspiring to be proud of one's native country. . . "
     "Maine is. . . something else than just America. It is for us who were born here and America localized."

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     "I got my first recognition in art from pictures of Maine scenes as felt by a Maine son."
     Hartley wrote from Paris concerning his anticipated return to Maine and Lewiston: "I will soon put my cheek to your cheek expecting the welcome of a prodigal, and glad of it, listening all the while to the slow, rich, solemn music of the Androscoggin as it flows along."
     "There was never a time during my 10 years' sojurn in Europe . . . that my mind was ever negative about my homeland; and the more I saw of anything else the more strongly I felt I wanted to come home to Maine and paint my own incomparable country again."

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     He was concerned that his art be known to Maine, and mentioned this in a last letter recorded in the State Archives in Augusta dated November 14, 1941, which also records the facts concerning the condition that was to take his life. Here he referred to the hope that some of his oils would be left to Bates College. He continues in this letter, "I am of course very proud of being born in Maine, have its interests at hear always, and because of that consider myself twice American . . ."
     The New England consciousness never left Hartley: it was the unifying factor in his life and art. His pride in his Maine origins brought about his claim that he was the first and only native-born painter actually painting her.

 

 

 


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