A Paramount Picture

(American, 1898–1954)
Framed: 107.3 x 86.4 x 4.5 cm (42 1/4 x 34 x 1 3/4 in.); Unframed: 90.8 x 70.5 cm (35 3/4 x 27 3/4 in.)
© Estate of Reginald Marsh / Art Students League, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
This artwork is known to be under copyright.

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Did You Know?

Marsh kept meticulous records, indicating that he created this painting between September 5–24, 1934.


Contrasting the real lives of everyday people with the reel lives of movie stars, this painting portrays a working-class woman standing by a Times Square theater in front of a large poster advertising Cecil B. DeMille’s blockbuster movie Cleopatra, starring Claudette Colbert in the title role. Enormously popular, such film spectacles offered escapist glamour, romance, and power amid the challenges of the Great Depression. Yet, despite the distraction of the city and its entertainments, the woman remains weary and essentially alone in the crowd.
A Paramount Picture

A Paramount Picture


Reginald Marsh

(American, 1898–1954)
America, 20th century


What is Happening in This Painting?

Always Had His Sketchbook

Claudette Colbert

The Story of the Frame

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