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Murray Hantman entered the Art Students League in 1928, where he studied with Thomas Hart Benton and Jan Matulka. He assisted Benton with the murals for the New School for Social Research in New York and worked on WPA projects through the 1930s.
His style shared the bold drawing and bright palette of WPA painters.
Hantman brought this style with him on his first visit to Monhegan Island, in 1945. Over time, it shifted toward abstraction. You can see the change by comparing the gallery’s 1946 gouaches of the shore—”Gull Rock” and “Low Tide”—with the 1952 oil, “The Island Inn in Fog”.
Murray Hantman taught at the Brooklyn Museum Art School from 1959 to 1979. His exhibition record is extensive. Upon his death, his artistic estate and personal papers were bequathed to the Portland Museum of Art.
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