Reginald Marsh is best known for his paintings of New York City daily life: burlesque shows, Coney Island, the Bowery, movie houses, and elevated trains. His favorite resource was Coney Island, where he would rapidly fill sketchbooks with drawings of the bathers in all postures and positions. With additional photographs he developed a fine sense of human form and anatomy.
Reginald Marsh was born in Paris, son of two artists, but the family settled in New Jersey when he was two. He graduated Yale University in 1920 and moved to New York where he worked as an illustrator for The Daily News. Kenneth Hayes Miller, a fellow Art Students League student opened his eyes to the possibilities of making the subjects of his drawings the subjects of his art.
With his distinctive and fully realized drawing style he reluctantly took to fine art where he found much acclaim. He disliked oil, but of watercolor he said, "Watercolor I took up and took to it well, with no introduction."