Reginald Marsh papers, 1897-1955

A Finding Aid to the Reginald Marsh Papers, 1897-1955, in the Archives of American Art, by Jennifer Meehan

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

Table of Contents:



Biographical Information

Reginald Marsh was born in Paris on March 14, 1898. His father, Fred Dana Marsh, was a well-known muralist, and his mother, Alice Randall Marsh, was also an artist who painted miniature watercolors. Marsh returned with his family to the United States in 1900 and grew up in Nutley, New Jersey.

After graduating from Yale University in 1920, Marsh moved to New York, where he worked as an illustrator for the New York Evening Post and Herald, Vanity Fair and Harper's Bazaar. Beginning in 1922, he worked as staff artist at the New York Daily News doing a cartoon review of vaudeville and burlesque. During the 1920s, he designed theater curtains for the Greenwich Village Follies and other theater productions, and became one of the original cartoonists at The New Yorker after it was founded in 1925, actively working for the magazine until 1931 and regularly contributing drawings from time to time after that.

In 1923, Marsh married Betty Burroughs, who was the daughter of the curator of painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and herself a sculptor. They divorced in 1933, and he married his second wife, Felicia Meyer, a landscape painter, in 1934.

In the early 1920s, Marsh began to study painting and attended classes taught by John Sloan and Kenneth Hayes Miller, among others, at the Art Students League in New York. He made several trips to Europe, once in 1925-1926 and again in 1928, to study the old masters in the museums. In 1929, he began to paint in egg tempera. He also worked in watercolor, painting several large compositions in 1939-1940. In the 1940s, he studied the "Maroger medium" with Jacques Maroger and began to use this emulsion technique in his paintings. In addition to painting, he also worked in lithography, etching, and engraving.

Marsh had his first one-man show of oils and watercolors at the Whitney Studio Club in 1924 and another show of lithographs there in 1928. He had one-man shows of his watercolors at the Valentine Dudensing Galleries in 1927, the Weyhe Gallery in 1928, and the Marie Sterner Galleries in 1929. In 1930, he had his first show of paintings at the Rehn Galleries, where he regularly exhibited for the next two decades.

In 1935 and 1937 respectively, Marsh was commissioned by the Treasury Department Art Program to paint two murals in the Post Office Department Building in Washington, D.C. and a series of murals in the rotunda of the Customs House in New York. Beginning in 1935, Marsh taught drawing and painting at the Art Students League. In the summer of 1946, he was guest instructor at Mills College, Oakland, California, for six weeks. In 1949, he was appointed head of the Department of Paintings at Moore Institute of Art, Science, and Industry, Philadelphia and taught advanced painting there in 1953-1954.

Beginning in the mid-1930s, some of Marsh's art work began to be reproduced on greeting cards issued by the American Artists Group and Living American Art, Inc. He also did illustrations for editions of Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie (1938), John Dos Passos's USA (1945) and Adventures of a Young Man (1946), and Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper (1946), among others. He continued to do freelance illustrations for magazines, including Esquire, Fortune, and Life. Notably, he served as an artist correspondent for Life during the Second World War, and traveled to Brazil in 1943 to draw the army installations there.

Marsh was the recipient of various awards throughout his career, including the M. V. Kohnstamm Prize from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1931, the First W. A. Clark Prize and Corcoran Gold Medal from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in 1945, and the Gold Medal for Graphic Arts of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1954.

Marsh died of a heart attack in Dorset, Vermont on July 3, 1954.

This biographical note draws heavily from information originally printed in the catalogue of the Reginald Marsh Retrospective Exhibition organized by the Whitney Museum in 1955.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

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.

Marsh's correspondence is typically with family, friends, artists, colleagues, dealers, government officials, publishers, greeting card companies, admirers and former students. Correspondence concerns both personal and professional matters, documenting his relationships with family and friends and his work on various projects ranging from book illustrations to the murals he executed as part of the Treasury Department Art Program. Diaries include those Marsh kept as an adolescent, those in which he recorded his technique and work on art, and those in which he recorded his daily engagements. Notebooks include ones on art, in which he recorded notes on particular works and on painting techniques, mediums and other processes; ones used as address books and to record notes on travel and art work; and ones on finances, in which he kept track of earnings from his stocks and art, as well as some student notebooks. Diaries and notebooks both document various practical aspects involved in the creation of Marsh's art work.

Sketches include ones on loose sheets and scraps of paper and in sketchbooks, documenting some of the sources and recurrent themes of Marsh's art work, as well as shedding light on Marsh's process of creation. Scrapbooks consist primarily of clippings (illustrations, reviews, reproductions of art work) compiled by Marsh, documenting the publication, exhibition, and reception of his art work. Business and financial papers consist of paperwork (contracts, agreements, statements, receipts, permissions) relating to business matters, practical concerns, and financial aspects involved in handling his various art projects and in exhibiting and selling his art work. Photographs include ones of Marsh's family and friends, the artist at work (sketching around Coney Island and on the streets of New York), and his art work (some of which was compiled into volumes by Marsh and some of which was compiled by Norman Sasowsky).

Also found are limited amounts of biographical material, including juvenilia, official documents, awards and certificates, writings, an appraisal of Marsh's estate, and catalogs of Marsh's art work, and printed material, including exhibition catalogs, clippings, and publications.

Arrangement and Series Description

The Reginald Marsh papers are arranged as 9 series:

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following terms:

Subjects-Topical:

  • Painters -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Painting -- Technique
  • Painting, American
  • Etchers -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Art -- Philosophy

Types of Materials:

  • Photographs
  • Diaries
  • Sketchbooks

Names:

  • Marsh, Fred Dana, 1872-1961
  • Marsh, Felicia Meyer, 1912 or 3-1978
  • Powys, Llewelyn, 1884-1939
  • Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953
  • Shubert, Katherine Schmidt, 1898-1978
  • Benton, William, 1900-1973
  • Woodhouse, Betty Burroughs, 1899-

Provenance

A large portion of the Reginald Marsh papers, including diaries, notebooks, sketchbooks, and photograph albums, was lent for microfilming in 1963 by Marsh's wife, Felicia Meyer Marsh. Some, but not all, of this material was subsequently donated to AAA in 1979, after the death of Mrs. Marsh, along with some additional material, including notebooks, scrapbooks, biographical and printed material. Another portion of the collection, comprised mainly of correspondence and a catalog of Marsh's art work, was donated in 1964. Three items of Marsh juvenilia were donated in 1984 by Alice Heffernan. Sketches that Mrs. Marsh bequeathed to the Whitney Museum were donated to AAA by the museum in 1987, along with 5 sketchbooks previously lent. Later gift portions were microfilmed.

Separated and 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 this 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.

How the Collection was Processed

The Reginald Marsh papers received preliminary processing as separate accessions between 1964 and 1984; most of the papers were microfilmed on reels D308-D309, NRM1-NRM20, 2234-2235, 2238, 3829, and 4473-4474. All gift portions of the collection were merged and fully processed, arranged, and described by Jennifer Meehan in 2005, and scanned, with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

The bulk of the collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Reginald Marsh papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Available Formats

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.

How to Cite this Collection

Reginald Marsh papers, 1897-1955. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1910s-1955, undated
(boxes 1, 11; 0.8 linear feet)

Series consists of some Marsh juvenilia, official documents (including a French identity card, a union card, and various customs and pier passes), awards and certificates, writings by and about Marsh, greeting cards featuring reproductions of art work by Marsh, and ephemera. Juvenilia includes a letter from Marsh to his mother, a sketch of Marsh as young boy (presumably by his mother), and a booklet of poems by Marsh (a copy can also be found amongst his scrapbooks). Writings by Marsh include some notes and a final copy of the speech he gave at the American Artists' Congress Symposium held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1940. Also included are typescript copies of the multi-volume catalog of Marsh's art work by Norman Sasowsky.

Box Folder
1 1 Juvelinia, 1910s
1 2 Official Documents, 1928-1937
1 3 Awards and Certificates, 1937-1943
(See also Box 11)
1 Writings
1 4 Speech by Marsh Given at American Artists' Congress Symposium, 1940
1 5 Speech Given by Isabel Bishop Upon the Presention to Marsh of the Gold Medal for Graphic Arts, 1954
1 6 Student Paper on Marsh by Elizabeth S--, undated
(Not scanned)
1 7 Greeting Cards Featuring Art Work by Marsh, 1951
1 8 Miscellaneous, 1953, undated
1 9 Wallet, undated
1 10-13 Parts of Envelopes with Identifying Information about Prints, undated
(4 folders; not scanned)
1 14 Appraisal of Marsh Estate, 1955
(Not scanned)
1 Catalog of Marsh's Art Work by Norman Sasowsky
1 15-16 Volume I, undated
(2 folders; not scanned)
1 17-18 Volume II, undated
(2 folders; not scanned)
1 19-21 Volume III, undated
(3 folders; not scanned)
1 22-23 Catalog of Marsh's Watercolors (incomplete), undated
(2 folders; not scanned)
Box
11 (sol) Oversize, Awards and Certificates, 1937-1943
(See Box 1, F3)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1920-1954
(boxes 1-2, OV 12; 1.2 linear feet)

Series consists of Marsh's personal and professional correspondence. Among the correspondents are vaudeville performers and producers, artists, museums, galleries, publishers, greeting card companies, government officials, admirers, and former students, as well as family and friends. Correspondence largely concerns Marsh's career as a painter and illustrator, and his relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.

Correspondence documents his work as a vaudeville reviewer for the New York Daily News from 1922 to 1925; the sale and exhibition of his art work; the publication of his illustrations and caricatures in various magazines; his book illustrations; and the reproduction of his art work on greeting cards produced by American Artists Group and Living American Art, Inc. There are also extensive files (which also contain scattered business, financial, and travel documents) relating to his work on two federal art projects, murals in the Post Office Department, Washington, D.C. (1935) and the Customs House in New York (1937), and his assignment as an artist correspondent in Brazil during the Second World War (1943). Similar materials are also found amongst the business and financial papers in Series 7.

Correspondence documents his relationships with his father, Fred Dana Marsh, his first wife, Betty Burroughs, and his second wife, Felicia Meyer Marsh, as well as his relationships with friends and colleagues, including the English writer, Llewelyn Powys, the artists, Yasuo and Katherine Kuniyoshi, and the U.S. Senator (and former Yale classmate), William Benton, who ended up being one of the largest collectors of Marsh's work.

Letters from artists, such as Edward Laning, and curators, such as Lloyd Goodrich, provide some sense of Marsh's methods and techniques for creating art work (especially his use of the "Maroger medium") and his views on art and current art movements (especially Abstract Expressionism). Correspondence pertaining to the award competition for the U.S. Building at the New York World's Fair, which includes versions of Marsh's letters to and letters from Edward Bruce of the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture, is especially suggestive of Marsh's strong feelings of "despair" over the lack of originality in contemporary art.

General correspondence is typically arranged in chronological files, interspersed with files named according to correspondent. Letters are typically to Marsh, unless otherwise noted. Project correspondence is arranged according to the name of the project on which Marsh worked or to which correspondence pertains. Envelopes, which had at some earlier point been separated from correspondence, and greeting cards are arranged in files at the end of the series. An appendix of significant correspondent's names from the chronological files is included in this finding aid.

See index for a list of selected correspondents from Series 2. The list does not include names of family.

Box Folder
1 General Correspondence
1 24 1920-1922
1 25 1923
1 26 1924-1925
1 27 1926-1928
1 28 1929-1930
1 29 1931-1932
1 30 1933-1935
1 31 1936-1937
Box Folder
2 General Correspondence
2 1 1938-1940
2 2 1941-1942
2 3 1943
2 4 1944-1945
2 5 1946-1947
2 6 1948
2 7 1949
2 8 1950
2 9-10 1951
(2 folders)
2 11-12 1952
(2 folders)
2 13-14 1953
(2 folders)
2 15 1954
2 16 undated
2 17 Mabel Randall, Letters to and from Randall Relating to Genealogical Research, 1929-1933
2 18-21 Felicia Meyer Marsh (Timmy), Letters from Marsh, 1934-1945, undated
(4 folders)
2 22-26 William Benton, 1939-1954
(5 folders)
2 Project Correspondence
2 27-31 Treasury Department Art Projects, 1935-1938
(5 folders)
2 32 U.S. Building at the New York World's Fair Awards, 1938
2 33 Office of Civilian Defense Projects, 1941-1942
2 34-35 War Art Unit, 1943-1944
(2 folders)
2 36 Greeting Cards, 1932-1951
(See also OV 12)
2 37-40 Envelopes, 1922-1954
(4 folders)
Box
OV 12 Oversize, Greeting Cards, 1932-1951
(See Box 2, F35)

Series 3: Diaries, 1912-1954
(box 3; 1 linear foot)

Series is comprised of Marsh's diaries, including ones that he kept for certain periods during his adolescence, ones that he kept to record his art work, and ones that he kept to record daily events and activities.

Marsh's adolescent diaries date from 1912 to 1913 and from 1916. The 1912 diary is the most complete, with daily entries for the entire year. The 1913 and 1916 diaries are composed of almost daily entries for the months of January and February, but are blank for the remaining months of each year. Adolescent diaries primarily record Marsh's daily outdoor activities (such as skating, sledding, and coasting in the winter, and playing tennis and swimming in the summer) with friends including Lloyd Goodrich, the day's weather, his studies, illnesses, and outings to the theater (to see movies and vaudeville shows). Diaries also allude to his artistic activities, such as painting and drawing a weekly cartoon for The Nutley Bulletin, and include some illustrations and sketches.

Marsh's art work diaries date from 1929 to 1933. Each diary consists of an "index" of the art work referred to therein, including title, date, and page numbers for relevant entries, and dated entries, comprising notes about the particular art work on which he worked that day. His notes typically include information about dimensions, methods and techniques used, time worked, what was drawn, and/or what prints were made. These diaries document the work he carried out, as well as the way in which he worked, on his paintings and prints during this time period. Similar notes for the time period from 1935 to 1944 can be found in the art notebooks.

Marsh's engagement diaries, dating from 1935 to 1954, and desk calendars, dating from 1931 to 1934, seem to have been used to keep track of and record his daily events and activities. Rather than typical diary entries, these comprise daily, weekly, and/or monthly calendars with brief notes on the events and activities of any given day, including meetings, classes, appointments, dinners, outings, and trips. In general, engagement diaries provide a sense of the range of artistic activities in which Marsh was involved, his interactions and associations with other artists, and the time he spent involved in teaching and other art-related endeavors. Of particular note, the "Little Red Book" diary from 1937 records Marsh's work on the mural for the New York Customs House; the one from 1938 records his work on drawings for the book, Sister Carrie; and the one from 1943 records his trip to Brazil as an artist correspondent, which included a broken arm and time spent in hospital.

Diaries are arranged chronologically. Desk calendars are arranged in a file at the end of the series.

Box Folder
3 Diaries
3 1 1912
3 2 1913
3 3 1916
3 4 1929
3 5 1930
3 6 1931
3 7 1932
3 8 1933
3 9-10 "The Little Red Book" Engagement Diaries, 1935-1939, 1943-1944, 1948-1950
(2 folders)
3 11 Engagement Diaries, 1951-1954
3 12-13 Desk Calendars, 1931-1934
(2 folders)

Series 4: Notebooks, 1919-1954
(box 4; 0.8 linear feet)

Series consists of Marsh's notebooks, including one in which he gathered notes from a Yale course on pictorial art; ones in which he took notes on his art work and on painting techniques and media; ones which he used primarily as address books, but also to record some notes on his travels and art work; and ones in which he recorded financial information. Notebooks document Marsh's study and application of new media and techniques in his art, his work on particular art works and projects, the disposition or publication of certain works, his expenses and earnings from art, and his earnings from stocks and other sources.

Of particular interest are Marsh's art notebooks dating from circa 1920 to 1954. Two notebooks relate to particular mural projects, a fresco project in 1935 (most likely the murals he did for the Post Office Department) and his mural project for the New York Customs House. Others consist of notes on media and painting techniques, including some notes on casein, tempera, and fresco from lectures given by Abels at the Art Students League in 1935; and notes on art work (similar to the art work diaries in Series 3), detailing time worked, what was done at different stages, and what prints were made for certain works dating from 1935 to 1944. Art notebooks also consist of lists of works (etchings, paintings, and lithographs), which typically include information about the date, dimensions, price, and/or consignment of work; notes on art expenses and contact information for models that he used; and clippings of illustrations by Marsh that were published in various magazines and newspapers during the period from circa 1920 to 1922.

More general notebooks date from 1925 to circa 1935. These were primarily used by Marsh as address books, recording the names and numbers of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances; he also used them to record some notes on his travels, illustrations and art work, observations, and expenses. Notebooks document in particular his trip to Europe in 1925-1926, some of his ideas for New Yorker cartoons and illustrations, and his work on certain art works during the period from 1928 to 1929.

Financial notebooks date from 1929 to 1954, and consist of Marsh's detailed notes on stock transactions, including purchases, sales, gains, and losses, and art earnings, including income from sales, royalties, teaching, and prizes. Included, to lesser extent, are notes on art expenses; interest paid on debts to Marsh by his brother, James R. Marsh; sales of art work to William Benton; bank account balances; contributions and gifts; and money borrowed. Financial notebooks document in general how Marsh made a living and supported himself as a working artist.

Notebooks were assigned numbers at some point, though it is not clear what particular order the numbers follow nor who assigned them. The numbers appear in brackets in the respective file title. The one designated "Notebooks #9" can be found amongst the business and financial papers. Notebooks are arranged chronologically according to type. For preservation purposes, notebook pages have been removed from the leather binders in which they resided.

Box Folder
4 1-3 Student Notebook [#17], 1919-1920
(3 folders)
4 4-6 Student Notebook, 1919-1920
(3 folders)
4 7-8 Art Notebook [#13], Lecture Notes and Clippings of Illustrations, circa 1920-1922, 1935
(2 folders)
4 9 Art Notebook [#10], 1930-1954
4 10 Art Notebook [#7], "Etchings and Paintings" (Lists of Work), 1930-1941
4 11 Art Notebook [#8], Lists of Work (by type), 1930-1953
4 12 Art Notebook [#5], Loose Notes on Media, 1930-1933, 1941
4 13-14 Art Notebook [#4], Models and Expenses, 1934-1954
(2 folders)
4 15 Art Notebook [#6], Notes on Art Work (listed by title), 1935-1944
4 16 Art Notebook [#2], Fresco (Post Office Mural?), 1935
4 17 Art Notebook [#18], Custom House Murals, 1937
4 18-19 Art Notebook [#11], 1938-1954
(2 folders)
4 20 Notebook [#15], Address Book and Notes, 1925-1926
4 21 Notebook [#3], Address Book and Notes on Art Work, 1928-1929
4 22 Notebook [#1], Address Book and Notes, 1928-1929, 1933
4 23 Notebook [#16], Address Book and Notes on Etching, circa 1935
4 24-25 Financial Notebook [#12], Stocks and Art Earnings, 1929-1954
(2 folders)
4 26-27 Financial Notebook [#14], 1929-1954
(2 folders)

Series 5: Sketches, 1901-1954, undated
(boxes 4-5, OV 12-21; 1.4 linear feet)

Series consists of Marsh's loose sketches and sketchbooks. (The bulk of Marsh's sketchbooks are held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Public Library, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. These are available to view on AAA microfilm reels NRM3-NRM17.)

In his sketches, Marsh typically recorded his environment, including the sights, scenes, and people he encountered on the city streets and the subway, in the dance and burlesque halls, and at Coney Island, as well as some of his own experiences, including his various trips to Europe (one in 1925-1926 and another in 1949). The subjects that he sketched are generally reflective of those featured in his finished art work. In his sketches, Marsh also explored ideas and created studies for paintings, and certain sketches served as the basis for finished works of art. Sketches document some of the various sources for Marsh's paintings, many of the themes that recur in his paintings and illustrations, and aspects of his creative process.

The Sketches series is arranged into 2 subseries:

5.1: Loose Sketches, 1921-1954, undated

Subseries consists of sketches, as well as some preparatory drawings and studies, in pencil, ink, and occasionally watercolor. They are mostly undated, although occasionally a date appears on one or more in a file. When provided, dates or date ranges of files are meant to be suggestive of the timeframe in which the sketches were likely created.

Individual sketches and drawings were numbered and arranged into files mostly by subject, sometimes by type or title of work, presumably by Whitney Museum staff. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder
4 28 Airplanes, undated
4 29 Anatomy Drawings, circa 1935-1945
(See also OV 20)
4 30 Artists at Work, 1926
4 31 At the Opera, undated
4 32 Beach Scenes, circa 1941
4 33 Bridge Architecture, undated
4 34 Bums, 1926, undated
4 35 Burlesque House, 1933
4 36 Caricatures, undated
(See also OV 12)
4 37 City Sights, undated
4 38 Clubland, undated
4 39 Coney Island, undated
(See OV 13)
4 40 Crowds in the Street, undated
4 41 Dali's Dream of Venus, undated
4 42 Dance Marathoners, undated
4 43 Dockside, undated
4 44 Electrical Execution, 1940s
Box Folder
5 Europe
5 1 Tourist Sights, 1926
5 2 Drawings of Art Work, 1926
5 3 Night Life, 1925
5 4 Local Color, 1925-1926
5 5 Miscellaneous, 1926
(See OV 14)
5 6 Hudson Bay Fur Company, circa 1932
5 7 Landscapes, 1922, 1947
5 8 Lifeclass Drawings, undated
5 9 Men Working, undated
5 10 Merry-Go-Rounds, circa 1944
5 11 Miscellaneous, 1921, circa1947-1953
(See also OV 15)
Includes some watercolors and drawings that may be by others.
5 12 Musicians, undated
5 13 Naked Over New York, undated
5 14 New York, Miscellaneous, undated
(See OV 16)
5 15 New York Skyline, 1928
5 16 Pick-a-Back, undated
5 17 Portraits, Unidentified, 1926-1927, 1954
(See also OV 17 and 19)
5 18 Portraits, Identified, 1926
(See also OV 17)
5 19 Prometheus at Rockefeller Center, undated
5 20 Scenes in Parks, undated
5 21 Seated Figures, undated
(See also OV 20)
5 22 Seventeenth-century Dress, undated
(See also OV 20)
5 23 Sideshow, undated
5 24 Steeplechase Park, undated
5 25 Subway Passengers, 1932-1953
5 26 Subway Stations, undated
5 27 [Ten Cents a Dance], circa 1933
(See OV 19)
5 28 Theater Marquees, circa 1944
5 29 Traffic Signals, 1949-1954
5 30 Trains, 1931
(See also OV 20)
5 31 Tugboats and Ships, undated
(See also OV 18)
5 32 Under the El Tracks, 1953
5 33 Visits to Movie and Televisions Studios, 1954
5 Women
5 34 Seated Women, undated
5 35 Single Women in the Street, circa 1940-1951
5 36 Groups of Women in the Street, undated
5 37 Women in Front of Shops, 1939-1940s
5 38 Women, No Setting, circa 1944-1948
5 39 Single Women, No Setting, 1940s-1954
5 40 Drum Majorettes, undated
5 41 Modern 1939 Venus, circa 1939
5 42 Nudes, circa 1949-1954
5 43 Erotic Drawings, circa 1953-1954
5 44 Burlesk (sic) Dancers, undated
(See also OV 19)
5 45 Miscellaneous, undated
(See OV 21)
Box
OV 12 Oversize, Caricatures, undated
(See Box 4, F35)
Box
OV 13 Oversize, Coney Island, undated
(See Box 4, F38)
Box
OV 14 Oversize, Europe, Miscellaneous, 1926
(See Box 5, F5)
Box
OV 15 Oversize, Miscellaneous, undated
(See Box 5, F10)
Box
OV 16 Oversize, New York, Miscellaneous, undated
(See Box 5, F13)
Box
OV 17 Oversize, Portraits, Unidentified, undated
(See Box 5, F16)
OV 17 Oversize, Portraits, Identified, 1926
(See Box 5, F17)
Box
OV 18 Oversize, Tugboats and Ships, undated
(See Box5, F30)
Box
OV 19 Oversize, Various Matted Drawings
OV 19 Portrait, Unidentified, undated
(See Box 5, F16)
OV 19 [Ten Cents a Dance], circa 1933
(See Box 5, F26)
OV 19 [Burlesk Dancer?], undated
(See Box 5, F43)
Box
OV 20 Oversize, Various Sketches
OV 20 Anatomy Drawing, undated
(See Box 4, F28)
OV 20 Seated Figures, undated
(See Box 5, F19)
OV 20 Seventeenth-century Dress, undated
(See Box 5, F20)
OV 20 Trains, undated
(See Box 5, F29)
Box
OV 21 Oversize, Women, Miscellaneous, undated
(See Box 5, F44)

5.2: Sketchbooks, 1901-1954, and undated

Subseries consists of several sketchbooks, including ones comprised of portraits, studies, and rough sketches of various subjects, as well as one of childhood art work dating from 1900, one documenting his trip to Europe in 1949, and one of erotic drawings.

Sketchbooks were assigned numbers at some point, though it is not clear what particular order the numbers follow nor who assigned them. The numbers appear in brackets in the respective file title. Sketchbooks are arranged in rough chronological order.

Box Folder
5 46-47 Sketchbook [#26], Childhood Art Work, 1901-1918, 1938
(2 folders)
5 48 Sketchbook, Portraits and City Scenes, circa 1920s?
5 49 Sketchbook [#36], Various Subjects, circa 1940s-1954
5 50 Sketchbook [#27], Studies and Anatomy Drawings, 1942-1947
5 51 Sketchbook [#28], Various Subjects, 1942-1945
5 52-55 Sketchbook [#22], Various Subjects, 1948-1954
(4 folders)
5 56 Sketches in Sample Book of Tracing and Drawing Paper, 1948
5 57 Sketchbook [#43], Europe, 1949
5 58 Sketchbook, Erotic Drawings, 1950
5 59 Sketchbook Fragment, undated

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1911-1954
(boxes 6, 9-11; 1.5 linear feet)

Series consists of the scrapbooks that Marsh kept throughout his career as an artist, in which he saved clippings of reproductions of his work (illustrations, cartoons, and reproductions of paintings and theater designs), articles, and reviews that appeared in various newspapers and magazines along with other printed material. Scrapbooks document the trajectory of Marsh's career, including the publication of his illustrations and cartoons, the exhibition of his paintings, and the critical and public reception of his art work. Notably, scrapbooks also document Marsh's on-going effort to record and recount his whole career in the clippings he collected and in the way he sometimes creatively displayed them.

Scrapbooks were assigned numbers at some point, though it is not clear what particular order the numbers follow nor who assigned them. The numbers appear in brackets in the respective file title. At some previous point, scrapbooks that had been stored in 3-ring binders were removed from them for preservation purposes. Scrapbbooks are arranged in rough chronological order. More detailed descriptions of certain ones are provided below.

Box Folder
6 1 Scrapbook [#11], Reproductions of Work in The Nutley Bulletin and Other Juvenilia, 1911-1915, 1922
6 2-4 Scrapbook [#10], Reproductions of Work in The Yale Record, 1916-1917
(3 folders)
6 5 Scrapbook [#2], Reproductions of Work in The Yale Record, 1917-1920
6 6 Scrapbook [#3], Clippings, 1920-circa 1928
(See Box 9)
Clippings include Marsh's illustrations for various newspapers and magazines, vaudeville reviews for The Daily News (from 1923 to 1925), articles on Marsh, and reproductions of various works. Also included are some watercolor sketches.
6 7 Scrapbook [#1], Clippings, circa 1922-1939
Clippings include articles on Marsh and his art work, reviews of his exhibitions (including shows at the Whitney Studio, Wehye Gallery, and Rehn Galleries, as well as in the department store, Wanamaker's), and reproductions of his paintings.
6 8 Scrapbook [#4], Clippings, 1925-1944
Clippings are assembled in a more creative fashion and include articles about Marsh, reviews of exhibitions, some vaudeville reviews, reproductions of paintings (including the Custom House murals), and illustrations for The New Yorker.
6 9-11 Scrapbook [#6], Photographs and Clippings, circa 1927-1930
(3 folders)
Included are photographs of some early works, including a portrait of Marsh by Katherine Schmidt, several self-portraits, paintings of locomotives, and some theater designs. Clippings include illustrations and cartoons for The New Yorker.
6 12 Scrapbook [#5], Clippings of Illustrations, circa 1929-1945
(See Box 10)
Included are clippings of Marsh's illustrations for The New Yorker and, to a lesser extent, for other magazines such as Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. Also included are some of Marsh's book illustrations.
6 13-16 Scrapbook [#7], Clippings, Letters, and Exhibition Catalogs, 1930-1945
(4 folders)
Clippings include articles on Marsh and his art work, reviews of his exhibitions, and his illustrations. Also included are letters relating to the gift or purchase of Marsh's art work (including letters from Philadelphia Museum and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts) and to prizes awarded to Marsh for his art work (including a letter from the director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art about the gold medal being awarded to his painting, "Strip Tease in New Jersey," and a letter from the Art Institute of Chicago regarding the prize awarded to "Summer in New York"). Also found are exhibition catalogs for several of Marsh's shows (especially at the Rehn Galleries) and for Isabel Bishop's shows.
6 17 Scrapbook [#8], Clippings, 1931-1945
(See Box 10)
Clippings include articles about Marsh and his art work, including ones on the Custom House murals and his use of egg tempera, in magazines such as Esquire and American Artist; his illustrations for magazines such Vogue, Life, and Fortune; and an article by Marsh entitled "Let's Get Back to Painting." Also included are printed greeting cards featuring Marsh's art work and some book cover illustrations.
6 18 Scrapbook, Clipping of Article on Marsh, "Reginald Marsh as a Painter," 1933
6 19 Scrapbook [#9], Clippings, Awards, and Other Material, 1943-1954
(See Box 11)
Clippings include articles on Marsh, reproductions of his work, some reviews of his exhibitions, and his illustrations. Awards include the Gold Medal in Graphic Arts from and a certificate of election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and a certificate from National Academy of Design. Also included are book covers designed by Marsh, exhibition catalogs, and a printed greeting card.
6 20 Scrapbook, Clipping of Article by Marsh, "Let's Get Back to Painting," and Other Clippings, 1944-1947
(See Box 11)
Box
9 (sol) Oversize, Scrapbook [#3], Clippings, 1920-circa 1928
(See Box 6, F6)
Box
10 (sol) Oversize, Scrapbook [#5], Clippings of Illustrations, circa 1929-1945
(See Box 6, F12)
10 (sol) Oversize, Scrapbook [#8], Clippings, 1931-1945
(See Box 6, F17)
Box
11 (sol) Oversize, Scrapbook [#9], Clippings, Awards, and Other Material, 1943-1954
(See Box 6, F19)
11 (sol) Oversize, Scrapbook, Clippings of Article by Marsh, "Let's Get Back to Painting," and Other Clippings, 1944-1947
(See Box 6, F20)

Series 7: Business and Financial Papers, 1923-1954
(box 6; 0.3 linear feet)

Series consists of scattered material relating to various business matters, practical concerns, and financial aspects involved in carrying out Marsh's artistic projects, such as contracts and agreements, royalty statements from the sales of greeting cards, receipts for works on consignment, receipts and notes relating to his work on the murals for the Treasury Department. Also included is some paperwork relating to his assignment as an artist correspondent in Brazil and travel arrangements for various trips. Business and financial papers are arranged in rough chronological order.

Box Folder
6 21 Contracts and Agreements, 1923-1937
6 22 Permissions and Authorizations, 1925, 1947
6 23 Royalty Statements, Consignment Receipts, and Other Material, 1928-1954
6 24 Rehn Galleries Statements, 1929-1954
6 25 Gallery Statements, Receipts, and Correspondence, 1930-1952
6 26 Receipts and Notes Relating to Treasury Department Art Project Murals, circa 1937
6 27 Miscellaneous, 1938-1953
6 28 Paperwork Relating to Assignment in Brazil, 1943
6 29 Paperwork Relating to General Travel, 1949-1953
6 30 Lists, 1953
6 31 Business Cards, undated

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1897-1908, 1920-1952
(boxes 6-8, 10; 1.3 linear feet)

Series consists of photographs of Marsh's family, the artist at work, and his art work, as well as some unidentified (presumably personal) photographs and some photographs of art work by others.

The Photographs series is organized 3 subseries:

8.1: Family and Personal, circa 1897-1908, circa 1920, undated

Subseries consists of photographs of Marsh's family, some of which are loose and some of which are on pages from a photograph album. Though the individuals in the photographs are typically not identified by name, it is possible to identify Marsh's parents, siblings and Marsh himself as a child amongst some of the photographs. Also included are a picture postcard of Marsh as a young man with some friends; photographs of friends, Augustus Kelly and Llewelyn Powys; and various unidentified photographs presumably collected by Marsh. Photographs are arranged in rough chronological order.

Box Folder
6 32 Marsh Family Photographs, circa 1897-1908, undated
6 33-34 Loose Photographs from Family Photo Album, circa 1897-1905, undated
(2 folders)
6 35 Pages from Family Photo Album, undated
(See Box 10)
6 36 Picture Postcard of Marsh and Friends, circa 1920
6 37 Photographs of Friends, 1937, 1944
6 38 Photographs of Marsh's Father, 1952
6 39 Unidentified, undated
Box
10 (sol) Oversize, Pages from Family Photo Album, undated
(See Box 6, F34)

8.2: Artist, undated

Subseries consists of photographs of Marsh at work as an artist. Photographs taken by Gene Pyle show Marsh observing and sketching the crowds and scenes in and around what is most likely Coney Island. Other photographs (photographer unknown) show Marsh sketching people on the streets of New York and painting in his studio.

Box Folder
6 40 Photographs of Marsh Sketching (taken by Gene Pyle), undated
(See Box 10)
6 41 Contact Sheets of Photographs of Marsh Sketching (taken by Gene Pyle), undated
6 42 Miscellaneous Photographs of Marsh Sketching and Painting, undated
Box
10 (sol) Oversize, Photographs of Marsh Sketching (taken by Gene Pyle), undated
(See Box 6, F39)

8.3: Art Work, 1920s-1952

Subseries consists of photographs of Marsh's art work, both loose and in disbound photograph albums. Volume 3 of the albums solely contains photographs of the murals he did for the New York Customs House and the Post Office Department, Washington, D.C. Album pages, which were removed from their 3-ring binders at some previous time, are often annotated with information about a particular art work, including title, date, and notes on the owner or disposition of a work. Loose photographs, also presumably compiled by Marsh, are organized according to particular project or exhibition. Many, if not all, of the miscellaneous photographs were compiled and/or reproduced by Norman Sasowsky for use in his catalog of Marsh's art work. Many of these are duplicates of those found in the albums.

8.3.1: Albums,
Box Folder
7 1-5 Volume 1, 1929-1933
(5 folders)
7 6-10 Volume 2, 1934-1938
(5 folders)
7 11-15 Volume 3 (Custom House and Post Office Murals), circa 1935-1937
(5 folders)
7 16-20 Volume 4, 1938-1940
(5 folders)
7 21-25 Volume 5, 1940-1944
(5 folders)
7 26-28 Volume 6, 1944-1946
(3 folders)
7 29-32 Volume 7, 1947-1952
(4 folders)
8.3.2: Loose Photographs,
Box Folder
7 33 Paramount Theater Sets and Costumes, circa 1920s
7 34 Carnegie Institute Exhibitions, 1931-1950
7 35 Watercolors of U.S. Army Air Corps, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, 1937
7 36 Custom House Murals (color transparencies), circa 1937
(Not scanned)
8.3.3: Miscellaneous Photographs,
Box Folder
7 37 Early Art Work, 1920s
(Not scanned)
7 38-43 Marsh and Rehn Galleries Photographs of Various Works of Art, 1930s-1950s
(6 folders; see also Box 10; not scanned)
Box Folder
8 (hol) 1-5 Various Works of Art, undated
(5 folders; not scanned)
8 (hol) 6 Works by Other Artists (Sasowsky essays), undated
(Not scanned)
8 (hol) 7 Works by Other Artists, undated
(Not scanned)
Box
10 (sol) Oversize, Marsh and Rehn Galleries Photographs of Various Works of Art, 1930s-1950s
(Not scanned)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1931-1955
(boxes 8, 10; 0.2 linear feet)

Series consists of exhibition catalogs for Marsh's solo and groups shows (particularly ones at the Rehn Galleries) and a limited amount of clippings. Also included are several copies of Tow Line magazines and some related photographs of tugboats, which Marsh may have collected for their illustrations, a program, list of nominations, and blank proposal form related to the award Marsh received from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Printed material is arranged in rough chronological order.

Box Folder
8 8 Exhibition Catalogs, 1931-1953
8 9 Clippings, 1944-1955, undated
(See also Box 10; not scanned)
8 10 Tow Line Magazines and Photographs, 1949-1953
(Not scanned)
8 11 Miscellaneous, 1950-1953
(Not scanned)
8 12 Printed Material Related to National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, 1954
(Not scanned)
Box
10 (sol) Oversize, Clippings, 1944-1955, undated
(Not scanned)

Index: Selected Correspondents from Series 2

This list represents only a selection of correspondents and does not include names of family.

General Correspondence

  • American Artists Group, Inc.: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1941, 1942
  • Archer, Edmund: 1944, 1949
  • Arms, John Taylor: 1945, 1948, 1951
  • Art Institute of Chicago (School): 1945
  • Arts Bureau of Gartner and Bender, Inc.: 1947
  • Associated American Artists, Inc.: 1940
  • Barrymore, Lionel: 1949
  • Bartlett, Clay: 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, undated
  • Baum, Richard F.: 1953, 1954
  • Bishop, Isabel: 1942, 1950, undated
  • Book-of-the-Month Club: 1945, 1946
  • Bork, Jacob: 1936
  • Burroughs, Alan: 1930, 1953
  • Carnegie Institute: 1947
  • Coates, Robert M.: 1921, 1922, 1954, undated
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art: 1945, 1954
  • Cornelius, Marty: 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952
  • Coutts, Jeane: 1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951
  • Dreiser, Theodore: 1939
  • Eakins, Susan: 1928, 1929
  • Genauer, Emily: 1952
  • Goodrich, Lloyd: 1927, 1940, 1951, undated
  • Gregory, Alyse: 1936, 1938, 1940, 1945, 1947, 1952, 1953
  • Hallmark Cards (Hall Brothers Inc.): 1950, 1951
  • Harper's Magazine: 1953
  • Hartmann, Sadakichi: 1939
  • Hopkins, Peter: 1951
  • Houghton Miflin Company: 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1954
  • Huntley, Victoria Hutson: 1948
  • Kelly, Augustus: 1942, 1943, 1944
  • Kinsey, Alfred C.: 1950
  • Kuniyoshi, Katherine (Schmidt): 1922, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1933, undated
  • Kuniyoshi, Yasuo: 1922, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, undated
  • Laning, Edward: 1943, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952
  • Larkin, Oliver: 1951
  • Life Magazine: 1943
  • Limited Editions Club: 1953, 1954
  • Living American Art, Inc.: 1936, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1941
  • Mandel, Estelle: 1951
  • Maroger, Jacques: 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, undated
  • Merton, Owen: 1927, 1928
  • Merton, Thomas: 1932, undated
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1951, 1954
  • Museum of the City of New York: 1953, 1954
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts: 1942
  • Miller, Kenneth Hayes: 1929, 1933, 1943
  • National Academy of Design: 1944
  • National Institute of Arts and Letters: 1954
  • New York Times: 1942
  • Nordmark, Olle: 1939
  • Overton, Richard C.: 1951, 1952, 1954
  • Pantheon Books Inc.: 1951, 1954
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts: 1941
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art: 1944
  • Pierpont Morgan Library: 1951
  • Powys, Llewelyn: 1927, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, undated
  • Pratt Institute: 1949
  • Redelius, Frank: 1952, 1953
  • Rehn Galleries (Frank K. M. Rehn, Inc.): 1948
  • Rose, Billy: 1950
  • Rothschild, Lincoln: 1950
  • Royal Society of Arts, London: 1947
  • Soyer, Raphael: 1951
  • Treasury Department, Washington: 1944, 1952
  • University of Rochester, College of Arts and Sciences: 1940
  • Weyhe Gallery (E. Weyhe): 1943
  • Whitney Museum of American Art: 1944, 1953, 1954
  • Wilder, Thornton: 1923
  • Worcester Art Museum: 1951
  • Wyeth, Andrew: 1952, 1953

Project Correspondence

  • Biddle, George: 1935, 1943
  • Bruce, Edward: 1938
  • Dows, Olin: 1935, 1936
  • Jones, Cecil H.: 1936, 1937, 1938
  • Nordmark, Olle: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1941, 1942
  • Owen, William B.: 1936
  • Rowan, Edward B.: 1935, 1936
  • Sharkey, Alice M.: 1936
  • Watson, Forbes: 1936, 1937