Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) American
Birthplace/Origin: b. Paris, France
Reginald Marsh was born in Paris, France in 1898, the child of artist parents. He was born over a small cafe on Paris’ Left Bank. He was brought to the United States in 1900 and was drawing before he was three. He studied art at Yale University and the Art Students League, during which time he worked primarily as an illustrator for New York newspapers and magazines. After studying in Paris in 1925 and 1926, he turned seriously to painting. In 1929 he was introduced to the egg-tempera medium, which he used extensively the rest of his life.
Marsh’s gusto for painting the bottom crust of society contrasted curiously with his background. His parents, both well-known artists, were steeped in academic traditions. He attended Lawrenceville Academy and Yale; perhaps this elite background made it possible to paint the earthy people he did with a journalist’s objectivity.
An admirer of Rubens and Delacroix, he disliked modernist art; indeed, his lifelong preoccupation was with people – enjoying themselves at beaches, at amusement parks, or on crowded city streets. Marsh was a second-generation Ash Can School painter and printmaker, best known as an urban regionalist. He spent his days sketching in small notebooks with a pen.