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Still Life- Calla Lilies, 1920

By Marsden Hartley


Framed Art


Art Museum
Bequest of Miss Cora Louise Hartshorn, 1958 58.170. Photograph courtesy of the Newark Museum.
Exhibition label. Photograph courtesy of the Newark Museum.


Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey


Oil on canvas board


26 3/4 in. x 19 1/2 in. (66 cm x 48.3 cm)


Optium Museum Acrylic®

The Challenge

  • To construct a sealed microclimate for an important painting that is very sensitive to climate fluctuations and going out on loan, while providing an optimal viewing experience.

The Solution

Optium Museum Acrylic®

Suitable for frame packages
Optium Museum Acrylic acts as a buffer to the external environment and limits the potential for change to occur by sealing the artifact within its own environment.

Allows viewers to see the painting rather than distracting reflections.

Shatter resistant
Safeguards against injury and damage to artwork and visitors.  This product is ideal for valuable works, high traffic areas, works that travel, and public event spaces.

Acrylic is half the weight of glass; Ideal for large, heavy projects and works that travel.

Anti-static protection exceeds that of glass
Immediately eliminates static charge.  Makes for safer, easier framing and less cleaning.

Abrasion resistant
A durable hard coat protects against scratches from cleaning and general exposure to the public.

99% UV blocking
Protects the painting from the most damaging light wavelengths, helping prevent fading and degradation.

The Work

This still life of calla lilies is more than meets the eye.  It is a declaration of the artist’s homosexuality, for the phallic calla lily was often associated with homosexuals in the first half of the twentieth century.  The red, white and pink flower is a symbol of the artist’s intense desire, and the energy of the painting is a metaphor for passion.

The sexuality found in the paintings of Hartley and Georgia O’Keeffe reflects the new permissiveness that surfaced in the United States during the Roaring Twenties.

More Info

  • For more information on the painting, click here.