Reginald Marsh Information and Inventory

Reginald Marsh

(1898 - 1954)

Reginald Marsh


Reginald Marsh was much more than a painter in New York—he was a painter of New York. His female images walking the streets of New York are his own; no other artist achieved such a unique distinction. With his studio on 14th Street overlooking Union Square, he could scan the streets with his binoculars or go out and be surrounded by street- hawkers, cutrate stores, clothing outlets, and, not far away, the dime-a-dance joints and the Bowery with its cheap bars and flop houses. His summer excursions to Coney Island were, in his own words, “where a million near-naked bodies could be seen at once, a phenomenon unparalleled in history— crowds of people in all directions, in all positions, without clothing—moving like the great Michelangelo and Rubens…”As an artist, Marsh achieved real distinction in black-and-white work, pen and ink, and also Chinese ink and watercolor. This simple figure, previously in the Senator William Benton Collection reflects the essence of Marsh’s figural work, and I acquired it from a small auction in 2001. Sometimes referred to as a second- generation Ash Can painter, I do not know what the estimated output of his work is, but I’ve read that between 1922 and 1945 alone, he produced more than 4,000 illustrations for the Daily News. One description of Reginald Marsh concluded by saying he delighted in painting “the human crowd in all its sweaty and tawdry aspects… indulging in vulgar yet exuberant social rituals.”

Reginald Marsh Gallery

No paintings by this author