Size: 9.3 Linear feet
Summary: The papers of Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) measure approximately 9.3 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.
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.
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.
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. The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming. 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 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 11,017 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.