Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Bowery

Artist:
Reginald Marsh (American, Paris 1898–1954 Dorset, Vermont)
Date:
1930
Medium:
Tempera on Masonite
Dimensions:
48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1932
Accession Number:
32.81.2
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 909
Marsh’s urban scenes of Depression era New York highlighted the hobos of the Bowery, where he frequently sketched. Using a brown palette for The Bowery, Marsh painted a crowded scene of down and out men standing along Bowery Street, surrounded by signage, and with the Third Avenue elevated railway seen above. In 1929, Thomas Hart Benton introduced Marsh, a colleague and close friend, to the medium of egg tempera, and from 1929 to 1940 tempera became his preferred medium for such major works as The Bowery. Like Benton, Marsh’s rhythmic and often bawdy compositions were influenced by Renaissance and Baroque masters. They were nonetheless deeply rooted in the harsh realities of 1930s America.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right center): Reginald Marsh/ 1930
the artist, New York (1930–32; sold through Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery, New York to MMA)

Art Institute of Chicago. "American Paintings and Sculpture: Forty-Fourth Annual Exhibition," October 29–December 13, 1931, no. 121 (as "Bowery"; awarded the M. V. Kohnstamm Prize of $250).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "20th Century Painters: A Special Exhibition of Oils, Water Colors and Drawings Selected from the Collections of American Art in the Metropolitan Museum," June 16–October 29, 1950, unnum. brochure (p. 8).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Three Centuries of American Painting," April 9–October 17, 1965, unnum. checklist.

Bronx County Courthouse. "Paintings from the Metropolitan, Pinturas del Metropolitano," May 12–June 13, 1971, no. 11.

Bronx Museum of the Arts. "The Artist Celebrates New York: Selected Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 2–March 24, 1985, unnum. brochure.

Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. "The Artist Celebrates New York: Selected Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 17–June 2, 1985, unnum. brochure.

Queens. Jamaica Arts Center. "The Artist Celebrates New York: Selected Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 15–July 27, 1985, unnum. brochure.

Staten Island Museum. "The Artist Celebrates New York: Selected Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 8–October 20, 1985, unnum. brochure.

New York. City College of New York. "The Artist Celebrates New York: Selected Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 25–December 13, 1985, unnum. brochure.

Roslyn Harbor, N. Y. Nassau County Museum of Art. "American Realism Between the Wars, 1919 to 1941," April 10–June 5, 1994, no. 7.

Roslyn Harbor, N. Y. Nassau County Museum of Art. "Old New York and Artists of the Period 1900–1941," August 19–November 4, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 27).

Roslyn Harbor, N. Y. Nassau County Museum of Art. "Reginald Marsh and Infamous New York," February 19–May 14, 2006, unnumbered cat. (p. 14).

New-York Historical Society. "Swing Time: Reginald Marsh and Thirties New York," June 21–September 2, 2013, unnumbered cat. (fig. 29).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Thomas Hart Benton’s 'America Today' Mural Rediscovered," September 30, 2014–April 19, 2015, no catalogue (see MMA Bulletin 72, Winter 2015).

"Chicago's Annual Draws Eyes of Fighters for American Art." Art Digest 6 (November 1, 1931), p. 14, ill. p. 3.

"The Forty-Fourth Annual American Exhibition." Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 25 (December 1931), p. 121.

Robert Beverly Hale. 100 American Painters of the 20th Century: Works Selected from the Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1950, p. xix, pl. 38.

Henry Geldzahler. American Painting in the Twentieth Century. New York, 1965, pp. 104–5, ill.

Sam Hunter and John Jacobus. American Art of the Twentieth Century: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. New York, 1973, fig. 310.

"Artist of the Depression Years: Portfolio of Reginald Marsh." American History Illustrated 16 (January 1982), ill. front cover (color detail), p. 24 (color overall).

Barbara Haskell in Swing Time: Reginald Marsh and Thirties New York. Ed. Barbara Haskell. Exh. cat., New-York Historical Society. New York, 2013, p. 40, fig. 29 (color).



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