Interior Study with Orientalist Model

Interior Study with Orientalist Model

Tentatively attributed to the American modernist artist Charles James Martin (1886-1955), this ethereal Orientalist-inspired interior study of a woman model reminds the curator of this archive to the pictorial work of American photographer George H. Seeley, (1880-1955) or even Clarence H. White himself, whom Martin is known to have studied with at Columbia University Teachers College.  The photograph shows the model, who appears to be kneeling and clad in a long head wrap, reaching for several vases placed on the floor before her.

Provenance for this photograph is intriguing: it was purchased in May, 2017 by this archive from an heir to the estate of American artist Charles James Martin, (1886-1955) who stated it was:

 “an original print made by Martin himself, likely an otherwise unknown image. It does not bear his signature, but the number “16” is written on the reverse in Martin’s handwriting.”

An excerpt of a description by this heir to Martin’s significance:

Martin studied with Arthur Wesley Dow, and later taught alongside him at Columbia University Teachers College. At TC, he also studied photography with Clarence H. White, and became an instructor at White’s School of Photography in 1918. Martin began teaching at the Art Students League of New York in 1921. At Teacher’s College, Georgia O’Keeffe attended his class in 1914-1915.


print notes, recto:  Unsigned; surface losses to print, particularly to lower margin, and with a large dog-ear to right corner.

print notes, verso: In graphite in stated known hand of Charles James Martin: 16

Interior Study with Orientalist Model

Image Dimensions20.3 x 15.5 cm

Support Dimensionsunmounted