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 Marjorie D'Orsi Martinet  (1886 - 1981)

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Lived/Active: Maryland      Known for: regional landscape, marine, historical site and Indian painting, teaching

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Ad Code: 4
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from Auction House Records.
Harbor Scene
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Marjorie D. Martinet – Biography

Marjorie D’Orsi Martinet (aka Margaret Dorsey Martenet) was born on 3 Nov 1886 in Baltimore City, Maryland to Oscar Conway Martinet (born 1857 in Baltimore, Maryland) and Anna Cora Walker (born 1860 in Baltimore, Maryland) and lived most of her life with her parents at 4102 Ridgewood Avenue in the West Arlington neighborhood. She died on September 6, 1981 at age 94. A memorial service was held at Woodlawn Cemetery on November 7, 1981 where she is buried.

Marjorie was one of the youngest graduates of the Maryland Institute College of Art located in Baltimore, Maryland. Following her graduation she worked for a year with S. Edwin Whitman, a landscape painter with a studio in Mt. Washington, Baltimore, Maryland. Greatly interested in painting local scenery and at the urging of her friends, she applied for a scholarship in a national competition to study at the Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts. She won the award and studied art under William Merritt Chase and Cecilia Beaux in Philadelphia. Finishing with high honors, Marjorie then went abroad on a Cresson European Traveling scholarship to study the great masters in art galleries and museums visiting England, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy and Spain. She traveled with two other students who became her life-long friends – Beatrice Fenton and Emily Clayton Bishop, both sculptresses she meet in Philadelphia. Fenton and Martinet were deeply affected by the sudden death of Emily Clayton Bishop in 1912 and spent several years promoting Bishop's sculpture. Fenton and Martinet maintained a close relationship for fifty years, primarily through correspondence.

Returning from Europe, Marjorie taught art at Drexel Institute and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1911, returning to Baltimore at age 25, she establishing and directing the Marjorie D. Martinet School of Fine and Commercial Art (“an art school of special distinction”) at 10 East Franklin Street for over 50 years, taught art at Oldfields School for Girls in Baltimore County for the next 36 years from 1925 to 1961, and later taught painting at the Maryland Institute of Art. Marjorie traveled on the MA&PA Railroad Line to Oldfields located near Sparks, Baltimore County, Maryland from Baltimore City as the express train made its way to York, PA making the Oldfields stop only for Marjorie. Oldfields School was founded in 1867 by Anna Austen McCulloch and is the oldest girls' boarding school in Maryland.

As reported in the Baltimore Sun (8 June 1943), Marjorie when she was 14-years old won a $5 first prize in a student art exhibition. She recalled this was the most thrilling prize she ever won though the monetary value of her later awards were much greater. The Sun author indicated that it is this quality of appreciation which even the most casual observer notices about Marjorie, calling her the Maryland’s most eminent artist of her time. Marjorie spoke frequently of her debt to her parents, friends and teachers for providing the opportunity to study the great European masters and how glad she is to pass on what she had learned to many others. Miss Marjorie always wanted to be a painter as “color” was her passion. Shortly after retuning from Europe Marjoire discovered she had a talent for teaching as well.  

Marjorie loved people as well as painting and found the many students and models she employed over the years to be facinating people. She was the first Baltimore artist to be invitied to exhibit her paintings at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1930. She also enjoyed the distinction of having her “Old Seth Slave Quarters along the Gwynns Falls” selected as one of twenty paintings from the United States to be shown at the International Exhibition of Womens’s Art in Canadan. She said at the time, “Art will be more urgently needed than ever after the war. It balances a materistic and machine-minded age. It will be the duty of people who have known the Europe of the past to coordinate that spirit with the spirit of the modern age.”
International Exhibition of Womens’s Art
Sequi-Centennial- International
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Plastic Club
Peabody Institute
Art Club of Philadelphia
Baltimore Museum of Art
Newman Galleries of Philadelphia, PA

Thouron Prize for Composition
McClellan Prize
Cresson Euopean Travel Scholarship

Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Baltimore Museum of Art
Federation of Arts (Washington, DC)
Art Alliance (Philadelphia, PA)

Oldfields School for Girls, Baltimore, Maryland
Institute of Arts, Baltimore, Maryland
Drexel Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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