Woman in Blue Dress, 1947

by Reginald Marsh (1898–1954)
Watercolor and pastel on paper
10 x 8¼ inches (sight size)
Signed and dated lower right: Reginald Marsh – / 1947



Nardin Fine Arts Ltd, Cross Valley, New York (as Blue Dress)

Geraldine Shapiro, New York

Estate of above

Sale, Briggs Auction, Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, March 26, 2021, lot 188, from above

Private collection, New York, New York, acquired from above

Related Works 

(Seated Man and Walking Woman), 1943, pen, brush and ink, watercolor, and graphite pencil on paper, 10⅜ x 8¾ inches; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

(Girl Walking Toward Right), 1945, pen and ink, wash, and graphite pencil on paper, 13 9/16 x 8½ inches; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

(Woman Walking), 1946, brush and ink, watercolor, and graphite pencil on paper, 10⅜ x 9¾ inches, dated lower right: 1946; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

Woman Walking, 1947, brush, black ink, wash, and gouache on paper, 10⅜ x 8⅝ inches, dated lower right: 1947; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Note: “Women constantly walk through Marsh’s art.”[1] Important to Marsh’s portrayal of the teeming, vibrant life of New York City was the presence of women on the street, sometimes observed by others nearby, other times unseen. Scholar Marilyn Cohen writes: “[Marsh’s] world is filled with display: movies, burlesque, beach are all forms of public exhibition. Men and women are spectators and performers within a heavily sexualized world. And Marsh was clearly fascinated by both aspects of that world — almost always presenting its two sides in the same image. Most often the women are the performers and the men their worshipful spectators or customers.”[2]

[1] Marilyn Cohen, Reginald Marsh's New York: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, and Photographs (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art with Dover Publications, 1983), 27. [2] Ibid.

Artist Biography

An urban realist painter known for his powerful, satirical images of tawdry New York life during the 1930s and ‘40s. While his illustrations demonstrate an exaggeration of human form and sexuality, they remain as an honest, historical testament to the human spirit of his time.

By Chelsea DeLay

“I felt fortunate indeed to be a citizen of New York the greatest and most magnificent of all cities in a new and vital country whose history had scarcely been recorded in art.” –Reginald Marsh

I. Biography
II. Chronology
III. Collections
IV. Exhibitions
V. Memberships
VI. Suggested Resources
VII. Notes

I. Biography
Born in Paris on March

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