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
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
"I got my first recognition
in art from pictures of Maine scenes as felt by a Maine son."
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 . . ."
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."
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.