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Reginald Marsh Portrait

Reginald Marsh

Paris, France 1898

Dorset, Vermont 1954

Active in:

  • New York, New York

Photo Caption:
Reginald Marsh seated in front of Coney Island, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001926


Born in Paris, brought to the United States in 1900, lived mostly in New York City. Traditional artist who produced thousands of drawings for newspapers and magazines before turning to realistic painting and etching, in which his favorite subjects were people in crowded urban scenes.

Charles Sullivan, ed American Beauties: Women in Art and Literature (New York: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with National Museum of American Art, 1993)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Born in Paris, Reginald Marsh was best known for his paintings of New York City, works that captured the urban realism of Coney Island, burlesque houses, and the Bowery. He came to the United States as a young child in 1900, and although both of his parents were artists, Marsh himself did not intend to be a painter. Instead, after graduating from Yale in 1920, he moved to New York to become an illustrator. He contributed cartoons and drawings to newspapers and magazines such as the New York Daily News, the New Yorker, and Harper's Bazaar, among others. In the early 1920s, Marsh attended classes at the Art Students League and soon after, he decided he wanted to be a painter. A frequent traveler to Europe, Marsh adapted the techniques and spatial arrangements of Old Master painting to his own canvases, using the imagery and people of New York City. His paintings frequently display a satiric edge, yet also convey the artist's sympathy toward his subjects. (Mecklenburg, Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 1987)