– Obituary: Norma B. Marin
ADDISON – Norma Boom Marin, 91, philanthropist, art collector, died peacefully at her home in Cape Split, Addison on February 22, 2022. She was born in East Orange, NJ on May 27, 1930 to Carlos C. Boom and Florence M. Vezzetti Boom who were of Dutch Caribbean, Venezuelan and Italian descent.
Ms. Marin graduated from Centenary Junior College in 1950 and Glassboro State College in 1952, where she was known as “one of the best members of the Glee Club who was always ready to help others”. In 1955, she married John Marin Jr., son of American artist John Marin.
Norma Marin became a strong supporter of her father-in-law’s work. She and her husband have worked with galleries and museums across the country to promote Marin’s works for nearly seven decades. After Marin’s death in 1953, Norma and John Marin Jr. collaborated with Marin dealer Edith Halpert, who had created the Marin Room in her legendary Downtown Gallery in New York. In the 1970s, a major gift of 24 works by John Marin to the Colby College Art Museum in Waterville secured the artist’s place in Maine’s cultural life and helped turn what had been a small regional museum into a important destination for modern and contemporary art. art.
In 1986, the couple donated a large group of Marin’s works to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and supported a major retrospective of Marin’s work, curated by Ruth Fine.
After the death of John Marin Jr. in 1988, Norma became the sole custodian of her stepfather’s art and continued the work she and her husband had started together. In 2011, she supported John Marin: Modernism at Mid-Century, a groundbreaking exhibition of Marin’s long-neglected late paintings, which traveled to the Portland Museum of Art, Maine; the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas; and the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass. That same year, she supported a major exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, John Marin’s Watercolors: A Medium for Modernism, curated by Martha Tedeschi. In 2013, his major gift of Marin’s work to the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (formerly Arkansas Art Center) in Little Rock, Ark. created a permanent home for the second largest collection of watercolors and drawings by Marin in the world, after the National Gallery. In addition, she has been an active participant in several other museums in New York and Maine, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, the Zillman Art Museum University of Maine, and the University of Maine at Machias.
Norma’s passion for art and her voracious eye led her to start her own gallery at her home in Cape Split. Norma herself was an avid collector of American modernist works by Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Gaston Lachaise, Elie Nadelman, and Georgia O’Keeffe, among others. Over the years his collecting interests have expanded to include post-war and contemporary art. She was an early and dedicated collector of women artists and artists of color and was a strong supporter of young and emerging artists. In her later years, Norma focused her collection on photography and German Expressionist prints, two collections pledged to the Colby College Museum of Art as part of her continued support of that institution. Norma’s wide range of collecting interests was not limited by medium or period – she purchased paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs and prints by her own discerning eye and the quality of the work itself. In her collection, as in her life, Norma was passionate, relentless and fearless.
Norma’s love of art extended to theater, dance and especially vocal music, and she treasured her subscriptions to the Metropolitan Opera. Norma was an avid reader, boater, animal lover, world traveler, loyal friend and family member. She will be remembered for her great desire to learn from the world around her.
She was predeceased by her husband; and by his sister, Carmen Boom Howe, and is survived by his daughter, Lisa Marie Marin (Arnie Smith) of Jonesport; two grandchildren, Marie Elena Marin of Cape Elizabeth and Alexander John Thompson of Addison; two great-grandchildren, Evan Zack and Carlee Thompson; nephew, Peter DeShazo of Norwich, Vermont, and niece, Jane Johnson of Tampa, Florida.
The entire Marin family expresses their gratitude to Norma’s compassionate nurses: Sarah Collora, Cheryl Cirone, Lisa Bagley, Brooke Hachey, Kelli Sheen, Rachel Stanwood and Trudy Seavey.
A celebration of life will follow this summer at Marin House in Cape Split.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home, Machias, where online condolences can be shared at http://www.bragdonkelley.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to your favorite charity in honor of Norma Marin.