Lot 503

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AMERICAN, 1898-1954
Brush and ink and wash on paper
Recto signed and dated Marsh '53; verso dated 53

Catalogue note:
Reginald Marsh's paintings, watercolors, prints and photographs captured the rapid growth and energy of everyday life in New York City in the early-to-mid 20th century. Born in Paris to American artist parents, Marsh attended Yale Art School before embarking on a successful career as an illustrator for publications like The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. Although he frequently traveled to Europe, Marsh was more interested in American social realism. Coney Island, with its carousel, throngs of leisure-seekers and reputation as "America's Playground," was one of his favorite subjects. Marsh stated that he was fascinated by "crowds of people in all directions, in all positions, without clothing, moving — like the great compositions of Michelangelo and Rubens. I failed to find anything like it in Europe." (Marilyn Cohen, "Reginald Marsh's New York," p. 21). Marsh's sensual depictions of women riding wooden carousel horses are some of his best-known imagery. Art Historian Marilyn Cohen writes, "Marsh's burlesque queen, his movie siren or the female carousel rider can be read as one and the same woman. This woman takes over Marsh's works, inviting the spectator into the scene much as her fleshiness and gaudy costuming captivated the artist himself."

During his lifetime, Marsh's work was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Whitney Studio Club (now the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York) and the Frank K.M. Rehn Gallery, among others. He taught classes at the Art Students League, with Roy Lichtenstein one of his notable students, and painted murals for Clinton Federal Building, Washington, D.C. and Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House, New York. His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney, the Brooklyn Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among others.


  • Purchased in the 1970s and by descent to the present owner.
  • Dimensions:
  • Sight: 13 1/2 x 19 1/2 in. (34.3 x 49.5 cm.), Frame: 22 1/4 x 28 1/2 in. (56.5 x 72.4 cm.)
  • Artist Name:
  • Medium:
  • Brush and ink and wash on paper
  • Condition:
  • This work is in good condition - on both sides.

    For a detailed condition report please request more information.

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September 28, 2023 10:00 AM EDT
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Potomack Company

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