Lucky Daredevils (The Thrill of Death)

Reginald Marsh

Marsh, a shy and gentle man, graduated from Yale in 1920. He immediately went to New York City where he studied at the Art Students League, and for several years produced illustrations for New York newspapers. Eventually however, he committed himself to painting. Despite his privileged origins in an upper class family of wealth and social position, he became fascinated with the subjects of middle class, bohemian amusements, and in this world found subjects which personified the pace and character of the city. "Lucky Daredevils (The Thrill of Death)" is one of his strongest compositions in this genre. Within a brilliantly compressed space, working class types gather around the entrance to a motorcycle thrill-ride show at Coney Island. The work exhibits Marsh's typical use of signs and other graphics to enhance meaning, and his bravura, gestural brushstroke, derived from his habit of constant sketching.
Date of Birth
Tempera on panel
30 x 36 in. (76.2 x 91.44 cm.)
Accession #
Credit Line
The Vivian O. and Meyer P. Potamkin Collection, Bequest of Vivian O. Potamkin