Platemark: 24.7 x 24.7 cm (9 3/4 x 9 3/4 in.); Sheet: 33 x 40.4 cm (13 x 15 7/8 in.)
Gift of Charlotte Trenkamp in memory of Henry Trenkamp, Jr. 1993.186
© Estate of Reginald Marsh / Art Students League, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Catalogue raisonné: Sasowsky 153
Coney Island, located on an Atlantic Ocean beach in the borough of Brooklyn, became a resort for urban inhabitants in 1875, when the railroad opened regular service to the outer borough.
No corner of New York City escaped Reginald Marsh’s observation, but his favorite subject was the beach of Coney Island, where, he said, “a million near-naked bodies could be seen at once, a phenomenon unparalleled in history.” The human pyramids in both of these compositions imply ample physical touching, and, indeed, critics described Marsh’s beach crowds as “vulgar, sweating, bestial.” The toppled pyramids and twisting forms recall Renaissance paintings, such as Michelangelo’s Battle of Cascina from 1504. Unlike Michelangelo, however, Marsh tended to focus on the buxom siren or femme fatale, a trope of Hollywood cinema in the 1930s.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.