Martha Visser't Hooft (1906-1994), Incinerator (from the series Pollution), 1970; acrylic on canvas, 50 x 36 inches, canvas; 51 ¼ x 37 ¼ inches, framed; Gift of Robert and Evie Miller
Martha Visser’t Hooft’s Incinerator is part of her series entitled Pollution, making her an early advocate of environmentalism and sustainability decades before concerns became more widespread. Full of bold color and delicate textures, the dramatic piece appeals to multiple senses to stimulate change.
Born in Buffalo in 1906, Martha Hamlin studied art in both New York City and Paris. After marriage to Dr. Visser’t Hooft, whose name is Dutch, she postponed her career as a painter until their children were older. She worked in many different media and commented on her process, saying, “My struggle is 50% how to put on the paint.”
What do you think it would be like to have an artist as a parent? Martha Visser’t Hooft was an artist her entire life and was married and raised children. She left Buffalo to study art in New York City and Paris; then returned with fresh ideas. Do the colors and shapes in the painting remind you of anything? Why do you think the artist chose them? Could you recreate this piece out of another material besides paint?
— Emily Simms, 2015