Reginald Marsh 1898-1954


© 2005

For a brief period in the early 1950's I was a student in Reginald Marsh's class at the Art Students League of New York. In 1952, when a studio at One Union Square became available, I rented it. On the top floor was Marsh's small studio, his "bird's nest," and around the corner other artists of the "14th Street school". My studio was directly one floor beneath his. Marsh remembered me from my brief stay in his class and we became friendly. It was not a strong master-apprentice relationship; he was too non-directive for that and I was too reticent to ask for more. However, I experienced a strong affinity for the man and his work.

His unexpected death in 1954 - he was only fifty-six - came as a great shock to me. Mary Fife Laning, artist and friend of Marsh, and a classmate of mine at the League, suggested to Mrs. Marsh that I might be useful in dealing with the lifetime of work that Marsh had left. Marsh's studio was jammed. He rarely destroyed paintings, and, as I later learned, there were many more paintings stored at another location. Mrs. Marsh discussed the situation with her lawyer, Joseph Walker III, and he decided to invite me, after conducting an interview, to help with Marsh's work.

Mrs. Marsh's lawyer interested Marsh's former classmate and friend, Senator William Benton, in purchasing a half interest in Marsh's Estate - his artwork, in order to financially help Marsh's widow.

For the next twenty-five years I worked as a curator/cataloger for Mrs. Marsh and Senator Benton. I was twenty-three years old when I started. I cataloged all the paintings, prints, and many drawings. This was done under the guidance of Lloyd Goodrich, Director of the Whitney Museum, another old friend of Marsh.

I created catalogs of the paintings and drawings, and his prints. My first book: Reginald Marsh, Etchings, Engravings, Lithographs, waa published by Praeger, NY, in 1956. The definitive print catalog was published in 1976: The Prints of Reginald Marsh, Clarkson Potter, NY. In addition I have arranged for exhibitions and publications on various aspects of his work for many years.

When Mrs. Marsh died in 1978 I was retained to distribute the work in her Estate. I had helped Mrs. Marsh decide on where various paintings were to be offered since there were no heirs. One hundred museums that had collections of American Art were selected.

In the succeeding years I have been called upon to authenticate and comment on individual paintings by collectors, auction houses, museums and galleries, and I continue to collect information about Marsh's paintings.

For more information, or to comment, please contact Norman Sasowsky by clicking the following e-mail address:

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