Reginald Marsh (1898 - 1954)
Born: Paris France
Reginald Marsh came to the U.S with his family in 1900 and lived in New Jersey most of his pre college years. His artistic career began while attending the Yale Art School 1916-1920 during this time he became a standout illustrator and eventually the editor for the Yale newspaper, the Yale Record.
After graduating in 1920, he spent several years working in New York City as a illustrator for several magazines and newspapers such as Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazar, Daily News and the New Yorker. Marsh wrote of his newspaper career, "It took the place of an art school, and was very good training because you had to get the people in action, and sketch them quickly." These illustration jobs provided Marsh with a good income and a great amount of free time, which allowed him to study painting at the Art Students League on and off through the twenties with Kenneth Hayes Miller, John Sloan and George Luks. John Sloan and George Luks are first generation Ashcan School painters, whose urban iconography came to exert an important influence on his art. Marsh enjoyed recording the physical and social life of a newly commercialized city, focusing on taxi-dance halls, burlesque, Coney Island, subways, Bowery bums, amusement parks and leggy girls on 14th street.
In 1929 Marsh took a studio near Union Square in New York where he remained for most of his life, roaming the streets with his sketch book. The same sketches he worked up for his newspaper and magazine illustrations found their way into his paintings. Marsh taught at the Art Students League from 1935 until his death in 1954 in Dorset, Vermont he was 56. That year, shortly before his death, Marsh received the gold medal of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the highest award in the American cultural world.
His work, widely acclaimed during his lifetime, can be found in major public and private collections throughout the United States, including but not limited to the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Academy of Design Museum.