From Ship to Shore

Reginald Marsh & the U.S. Custom House Murals

March 25 - May 22, 2016

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Best known for his depictions of Depression-era New York City, including jobless men on the Bowery, vaudeville and burlesque houses, and the amusements of Coney Island, New York draftsman and painter Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) also had a passion for the city’s waterfront. In 1937, he embarked on the creation of a series of shipping murals for the rotunda of the United States Custom House at 1 Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan, a project commissioned as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Treasury Relief Art Program dedicated to embellishing public buildings. Marsh's eight masterful watercolor and graphite paintings, part of the Museum's collection and on view for the first time in more than 20 years, depict the stages of an ocean liner from its entrance into New York Harbor to the unloading of its cargo on the city's docks. From Ship to Shore: Reginald Marsh & the U.S. Custom House Murals showcases both the iconic beauty of the harbor and the integral role it has played in our city’s history, as well as the role that fine art can play in the public sphere.

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