George Tilyou’s Steeplechase

Media - 1986.6.60 - SAAM-1986.6.60_2 - 135785
Copied Reginald Marsh, George Tilyou's Steeplechase, 1932, oil and egg tempera on linen mounted on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1986.6.60

Artwork Details

George Tilyou’s Steeplechase
Not on view
30 1840 18 in. (76.5101.8 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation
Mediums Description
oil and egg tempera on linen mounted on fiberboard
  • Recreation — sport and play — racing
  • Figure group
Object Number

Artwork Description

Steeplechase Park was one of three amusement parks at Coney Island in Brooklyn. Here Marsh showed a couple astride one of the mechanical horses that raced around the Pavilion of Fun on iron rails that, in places, were as high as thirty-five feet above the ground. The nested bodies of the sailor and the girl exude the passion of young love, although the strained expression on the woman’s face may signal the transience of their affection.

Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014

Gallery Label

Marsh's paintings capture the human energy of New York's crowded neighborhoods and tenements. Working class men and women of the 1930s were obliged to do their socializing in public, and this image of a popular Coney Island ride reflects the bawdy and uninhibited atmosphere of the midway. Marsh's initial drawing shows through the paint glazes, preserving the noise and hustle of the moment.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006


Media - 1986.6.100 - SAAM-1986.6.100_2 - 135134
Modern American Realism: Highlights from the Sara Roby Foundation Collection
October 20, 2018November 28, 2018
This exhibition presents some of the most treasured paintings and sculpture from SAAM’s permanent collection, including artworks by Will Barnet, Isabel Bishop, Paul Cadmus, Edward Hopper, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jacob Lawrence, George Tooker, among others.