The museum owns three original Marin frames on works created in the 1940s, two of them watercolors and one an oil. In the remaining years of Marin’s output, a harmony emerged between his earlier frames painted with ivory enamel and the hands-on approach of custom framing he took to in his later years. Marin commented once, “If I were younger, I’d plunge into sculpture, but my frame-making will have to satisfy my sculptural urges.” More rustic than those made by George Of, his handmade frames in the 1940s had the advantage of reflecting the rugged American individualism for which his art was already known. Marin enjoyed incorporating found materials like driftwood into the frames, and he spoke to the experimental nature of his framing strategies, saying, “Through failures... partial successes and difficulties... I will insist that the frame should play with and be a part of the picture.”

See the frame profiles for Nudes in Sea, Cape Split, Maine, and Movement: Boats and Objects, Blue Gray Sea.

John Marin. Movement: Boats and Objects, Blue Gray Sea (detail), 1947. Alfred Stieglitz Collection; Robert A. Waller Fund.