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Reginald Marsh (1898 - 1954)

Lot 95: REGINALD MARSH (1898-1954)


May 22, 2002
New York, NY, US

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tempera on gessoed panel Painted circa 1934. Reginald Marsh was born in Paris into an artistic family: his father was a painter and his mother was a miniaturist. The family moved to New Jersey when Marsh was two years old, and after attending a number of private schools, Marsh began to study art at Yale. He continued his training at the Art Students League in 1923, while working as an illustrator and cartoonist for the New York Daily News and for The New Yorker when it was launched in 1925. Toward the end of 1929, Thomas Hart Benton introduced Marsh to egg tempera, a medium that suited Marsh perfectly and enabled him to maintain his linear style. Marsh wrote, "It opened up a new world to me. ? Egg is a fine 'draughtsman's' vehicle and very easy to handle. I used it transparently, without white color. The luminosity and clearness of drawing is preserved, yet a certain greasy quality of the yolk gives a 'fat,' oily effect. Drying is instantaneous, and superimposed brush strokes are easily made" (Lloyd Goodrich, Reginald Marsh, New York, 1972, p. 33). "In this new medium [Marsh] could build the painting in a continuous process without waiting for it to dry, making possible a rapidity of execution that suited his temperament. Almost immediately he began producing, with a new sureness, large-scale compositions that had a power and completeness he had never approached before. These egg temperas of the early and middle 1930s were to make his reputation as a painter" (Goodrich, pp. 33-34). During the early 1930s mural painting was being revived in America through the federal art projects of the Roosevelt administration. In 1934 the Treasury Department established the Section of Painting and Sculpture, a more selective project than the WPA. The first project commissioned by this group was a series of murals and sculptures for two buildings in Washington, D.C. Marsh was the youngest of eleven artists to be chosen, and was awarded two spaces in the Post Office Building. In pr


Mr. William Margerin, Hopewell Junction, New York Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1978 Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1985

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May 22, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

New York, NY, US