Reginald Marsh papers, 1897-1955

Marsh, Reginald, b. 1898 d. 1954
Painter, Educator, Illustrator, Cartoonist, Etcher
Active in New York, N.Y.

The papers of Reginald Marsh that were scanned by the Archives of American Art in 2006. The bulk of the papers have been digitized and total 9,241 images. Items typically not scanned include typescript copies of published art catalogs that are widely available elsewhere, transparencies, photographs of works of art, and scattered clippings and printed material.

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.


Collection size: 8.5 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) measure approximately 8.5 linear feet and date from circa 1897 to 1955. The collection documents the life and work of the artist, who was best known for his paintings and illustrations depicting scenes of vaudeville, night clubs, burlesque, and New York City. Marsh was a lifelong free-lance illustrator for the New Yorker, Esquire, and many other national magazines. Papers include correspondence, diaries, notebooks, sketches, scrapbooks, business and financial papers, and photographs, as well as some biographical and printed material.

Biographical/Historical Note: Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) was a painter, illustrator, and etcher from New York, N.Y. Marsh was a lifelong free-lance illustrator for the New Yorker, Esquire, and many other national magazines. Best known for his scenes of vaudeville, night clubs, burlesque, and New York City. After his divorce from sculptor Betty Burroughs in 1933, he married painter Felicia Meyer in 1934.

Material on reels NRM 1-NRM 20 lent for microfilming 1963 by Marsh's widow, Felicia Meyer Marsh. In 1964 she donated material on reels D308-D309 and the 3 v. Marsh catalog (unfilmed). Material on reels 2233-2235, 2238 and unfilmed were donated 1979 after Mrs. Marsh's death in 1978, along with some material previously lent, including diaries, desk calendars, notebooks and correspondence (reels NRM 1-NRM 3), photograph albums (7 v.) and photos of works and statements from Rehn Gallery (NRM 17-18). Sketchbooks (NRM 3-17) were given to Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and New York Public Library; NYPL also received the anatomy drawings and photos of New York locales. 3 items on reel 3829 (NRM 17) donated by Alice Heffernan, 1984. Drawings on reels 4473-4475 were bequeathed to the Whitney Museum of American Art by Felicia Meyer Marsh, and donated to AAA in 1987, including 5 sketchbooks previously lent. All materials were reprocessed and merged into a new arrangement in 2005, except for the loaned materials available only on microfilm.

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this digitized collection
  • The bulk of the collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Items that typically have not been digitized include typescript copies of published art catalogs that are widely available elsewhere, transparencies, miscellaneous photographs of works of art, scattered clippings and printed material, and any duplicated material.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Some of the material loaned for microfilming in 1963, including the bulk of Marsh's sketchbooks and some anatomy sketches, was subsequently donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Public Library, and Whitney Museum of American Art. Other loaned material, including several small paintings, was from the Pierpont Morgan Library. Most of the files of clippings that were donated to AAA with Marsh's papers were transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery Library in 1979. Even though this material is not technically part of the collection housed in AAA, copies are available on microfilm reels NRM3-NRM17 (sketchbooks and sketches), NRM 19 (material from the Pierpont Morgan Library), NRM 20 (small paintings), and 2233-2234 (clippings). A portion of the material donated to AAA with the Reginald Marsh papers has been separated to create a new collection of Felicia Meyer Marsh and Marsh Family papers. Loaned and transferred material is not described in the finding aid.
The Archives holds several collections of different provenance that relate to Reginald Marsh, including Felicia Meyer Marsh and Meyer Family Papers (available on reels 2082, 2087-2090, and 4474-4475), Fred Dana Marsh illustrated letters (available on reel 3134), Norman Sasowsky Research Material on Reginald Marsh (partially available on reels 1195 and 1463-1464), and Reginald Marsh Printed Material, consisting of two yearbooks from Lawrenceville School donated by Alvin Macauley who was a classmate of Marsh (not available on microfilm). In addition, a portion of the materials loaned and microfilmed in 1963 on reel NRM 19, including several small paintings, are housed in the Pierpont Morgan Library.