© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Reginald Marsh’s Depression-era work focuses on urban landscapes and everyday life in America; his subjects include burlesque performers, unemployed workers on the Bowery, and Coney Island beach scenes. He was particularly concerned with the exploitation of the nation’s millions of unemployed women and portrayed them as independent figures. This painting, executed in the mezzo-fresco technique Marsh first observed in old master paintings in Europe, is one of several he created before carrying out major mural commissions for Washington, DC’s Post Office Department Building (1936) and the Custom House in New York City (1936–37). Marsh studied with artists John Sloan and George Luks of the Ashcan school, which promoted a journalistic approach in depicting daily life in New York’s poor neighborhoods, and he was a notable contributor to the development of social realism.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1979.389
People
Reginald Marsh, American (Paris, France 1898 - 1954 Dorset, VT)
Title
Astor Hotel
Other Titles
Former Title: Portrait of a Woman in a Fur-Collared Coat
Former Title: Standing Woman in Fur-Collared Coat
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
1933
Places
Creation Place: North America, United States
Culture
American
Location
Level 1, Room 1320, Modern and Contemporary Art, Social Realism
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Mezzo-fresco (lime wash on plaster)
Technique
Fresco painting
Dimensions
sight: 91.4 x 61.3 cm (36 x 24 1/8 in.)
framed: 95.6 x 65.4 x 4.5 cm (37 5/8 x 25 3/4 x 1 3/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.r.: Reginald Marsh 1933
  • inscription: On verso: Astor Hotel
Provenance
Reginald Marsh; to Felicia Meyer (Mrs. Reginald) Marsh, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1979.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Felicia Meyer Marsh (Mrs. Reginald Marsh)
Copyright
© Estate of Reginald Marsh / Art Students League, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Accession Year
1979
Object Number
1979.389
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
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Exhibition History

The Persistence of Memory: Continuity and Change in American Cultures, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/29/1995 - 05/13/2001

32Q: 1320 Social Realism, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu