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Reginald Marsh papers, 1897-1955

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

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.