The coastline near Provincetown, Rhode Island, where George Morrison summered at an artist colony during the 1960s, reminded him of his childhood on the Grand Portage Reservation on the northern shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. The memory prompted Morrison to resume a favorite pastime from his youth—beachcombing—but now he assembled the weathered, water-washed driftwood that he collected into oblong abstract assemblages. New England Landscape is one of the first known examples of a concept that Morrison continued to explore throughout his career. With their varied colors and surfaces, the fragments of wood resemble geological striations, but the overall effect is of the essential triad of earth, water, and sky. Morrison believed that each piece of wood carried a distinct history, and although in later works he cut and even weathered the wood himself, in this early work the components are pristine, incorporated just as he found them.

From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)
Artist George Morrison, Ojibwa, Native American, 1919 - 2000
  • New England Landscape
Date between 1965 and 1967
Medium Wood
Dimensions Overall: 48 × 120 × 2 5/8 inches (121.9 × 304.8 × 6.7 cm)
Credit Line Museum Purchase, W. Hawkins Ferry Fund
Accession Number 2006.108
Department Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas
On View Native American S1EE, Level 1 (see map)
possibly (Todd Bockley, Bockley Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA);
Leonard Whiting (London, England);
2006-present, purchased 2006 by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)