George Marinko (1908 - 1989)
Adoration, c. 1938
Oil on masonite
8 x 10 inches
Signed at lower right: MARINKO
Modernist style frame
Mr. and Mrs. Einhorn, Orange, Connecticut
[Peter Hastings Falk, Madison, Connecticut, as agent, 1989]
Shannon Fine Arts, Orange, Connecticut, 1990
Artemis Gallery, North Salem, New York, until 1995
Private Collection, Massachusetts, until present
Jordan Marsh Company, Twenty-fifth Annual Exhibition of Paintings, n.d.
The John Slade Ely House, New Haven, Connecticut, November 26 - December 17, 1989, George Marinko (1908 - 1989): Pioneer American Surrealist, exhibition no. 106.
Surrealism USA, National Academy of Design, New York, New York, February 17 - May 8, 2005; Phoenix Art Museum,
Falk, Peter Hastings. George Marinko (1908 - 1989): Pioneer American Surrealist, Madison, Connecticut, Sound View Press, 1989.
Isabelle Derveaux, with contributions by Michael Duncan, Robert Hobbs, Gerrit L. Lansing, Robert S. Lubar, Marshall N. Price and Scott Rothkopf. Surrealism USA (New York: National Academy of Design, 2004).
George Marinko was one of the founders of the surrealist style in the United States. He was born in Derby, Connecticut in 1908. His father was a brass worker. From 1925 to 1929, Marinko attended the Waterbury Art School, coming under the influence of Lewis York, a visiting art professor from Yale. Funded by wealthy persons in Waterbury, he was able to attend the Yale School of Fine Arts where York and Eugene Savage were teachers, and Marinko began experimenting with surrealism. However, his academic training ended that first year with the stock market collapse. He survived by taking odd jobs and painting traditional landscapes. He was an individualist and worked in the surrealist style before he knew what it was. In 1936 he was included in an exhibition of surrealist art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In the late 1930s he traveled to Europe and Mexico, and on his return, worked for the Public Works of Art Project and then for the WPA Federal Arts Project from 1938 to 1940. In an interesting departure from approved criteria, the Federal Arts Project accepted several surrealist paintings from among the seventeen he completed. One of his paintings not done under the WPA, Orpheus in Agony, was exhibited at the New York World’s Fair. Marinko taught at the Waterbury Art School and in 1950-1951 served as an assistant director of the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York. According to one art dealer, Marinko’s earliest surrealist paintings were among the best by an American that he had seen, but Marinko never considered himself an equal with other surrealist artists. He was not well known outside of Waterbury or New Haven, where he spent the last thirty years of his life in a two room apartment. Visitors noted that there was very little furniture in his apartment, and that it contained numerous easel paintings that no one had ever seen. It was not until his later years that art historians and the public began to appreciate Marinko’s contribution to the development of American art through his surrealist paintings.