Locomotives, Jersey City

  • Reginald Marsh, Locomotives, Jersey City, 1934, oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Felicia Meyer Marsh, 1979.127.1

Locomotives, Jersey City is from a series of paintings Reginald Marsh did in the 1930s that focuses on modes of transportation. Here, four mighty trains power along the tracks, while the smoke and steam emitted from the smokestacks trail behind. In the distance, Marsh painted a cloud of smoke using a thin oil wash, creating a backdrop that is both delicate and dense. Together, the distant smoke clouds and those coming from the locomotives obscure much of the sky. The painting’s gritty colors reflect the urban environment of Jersey City, which was a manufacturing center in the years preceding World War II. Railroads, however, were the biggest employer and owned a third of the city’s nearly fifteen square miles. It was here that the national train networks terminated (Andrew Jacobs, A City Whose Time Has Come Again,” New York Times, April 302000). 

Locomotives, Jersey City
36 1848 14 in. (91.9122.5 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of Felicia Meyer Marsh

Mediums Description
oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard
  • Figure group
  • Architecture – vehicle – train
  • Cityscape – New Jersey – Jersey City
  • Architecture – industry – railroad yard
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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