Down on his luck at the Brooklyn docks in 1938

Reginald Marsh painted the city’s extremes: gaudy, seedy Coney Island, sex at burlesque shows, Bowery revelry, and the might and strength symbolized by ships and industry.


But his solemn forgotten man (and a second man, lying down on the left) perched at the edge of a dock in 1938’s “Docks, Brooklyn” reveals a loneliness and despair unlike anything depicted in his other paintings and illustrations.

And it just sold for more than $6,000.

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9 Responses to “Down on his luck at the Brooklyn docks in 1938”

  1. Paige Says:

    There are 2 forgottten men – the second is lying down on the left side of the painting.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you. Either I need new reading light, or that was Marsh’s sly intent–to render one man almost visually forgotten.

  3. Paul Ruoso Says:

    These wonderful paintings you post become my desktop background on my office computer, until the next one. Thank you.

  4. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Glad to hear it!

  5. mikeland82 Says:

    Great post. Marsh is one of the great American painters, doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Thanks for highlighting this gem.

  6. Ruth Rosenthal Says:

    What a beautiful painting. I think that $6250 was a bargain. Surprised Marsh’s watercolors do not sell for much more than that.

  7. Timothy Grier Says:

    I have the good fortune of working in a building with Marsh murals. They are titled “Sorting the Mail” and “Loading the Mail”. They, along with several other murals by other artists, are in the William Jefferson Clinton Building which is the former USPS headquarters.

  8. georgebeach Says:

    When will we ever cease naming our landmarks after living politicians?
    It’s as bad as naming our aircraft carriers after presidents. Ugh!

  9. A painter renders Union Square’s sea of humanity | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Rubens, she became associated with the 14th Street School, a group of realist artists that included Reginald Marsh and Raphael […]

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