Urban Realism and the American Scene

Reginald Marsh (1898–1954)
Chicago, 1930
Watercolor, over graphite, on cream wove watercolor paper, 13 7/8 x 20 in. (35.2 x 50.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1998.4

Object-Reginald Marsh, Chicago

The urban-realist painter Reginald Marsh is known for his scenes of New York City, which he showed as vulgar, chaotic, and teeming with life. A departure from his dynamic representations of social types, Chicago displays his sensitivity to urban built environments. This watercolor presents a row of decaying Victorian-era storefronts along a nearly deserted street, with a factory building, water towers, and an exhaust stack looming in the background. Marsh’s 1930 visit to Chicago yielded several images of the city in watercolor, which he applied in rapid lines and washes. Ignoring the recently erected architectural showplaces in the city’s bustling commercial districts, he focused on scenes that captured the anxiety and despair following the stock market crash of October 1929. In Chicago, the woeful condition of these modest structures suggests the glaring contrast between the optimism of the 1920s and the encroaching realities of what became known as the Great Depression.

Learn more about this watercolor on the Terra Foundation website.


Reginald Marsh (1898–1954)
Chicago, 1930
Watercolor, over graphite, on cream wove watercolor paper, 13 7/8 x 20 in. (35.2 x 50.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1998.4

Urban Realism and the American Scene

William Glackens (1870–1938)
Bal Bullier, c. 1895
Oil on canvas, 23 13/16 x 32 in. (60.5 x 81.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.59
Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1858–1924)
The Grand Canal, Venice, c. 1898–99
Watercolor and graphite on paper, 18 1/8 x 14 1/4 in. (46.0 x 36.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.123
Everett Shinn (1876–1953)
Theater Scene, 1903
Oil on canvas, 12 3/4 x 15 1/2 in. (32.4 x 39.4 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.136
Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1858–1924)
Salem Willows, 1904
Oil on canvas, 26 1/4 x 34 1/4 in. (66.7 x 87.0 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.120
George Luks (1866–1933)
Knitting for the Soldiers: High Bridge Park, c. 1918
Oil on canvas, 30 3/16 x 36 1/8 in. (76.7 x 91.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.87
Robert Henri (1865–1929)
Sylvester, 1914
Oil on canvas, 32 x 26 in. (81.2 x 66 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2017.2
Rockwell Kent (1882–1971)
Cranberrying, Monhegan, c. 1907
Oil on canvas, 28 1/16 x 38 1/4 in. (71.3 x 97.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Gift of Mr. Dan Burne Jones. Image © Plattsburgh State Art Museum, Rockwell Kent Gallery and Collection., C1983.4
George Bellows (1882–1925)
The Palisades, 1909
Oil on canvas, 30 x 38 1/8 in. (76.2 x 96.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.10
Robert Henri (1865–1929)
Figure in Motion, 1913
Oil on canvas, 77 1/4 x 37 1/4 in. (196.2 x 94.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.69
Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975)
Slaves, 1925
Oil on cotton duck mounted on board, 66 7/16 x 72 3/8 in. (168.8 x 183.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund. Image © T.H. Benton and R.P. Benton Testamentary Trusts/UMB Bank Trustee/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York., 2003.4
Walter Ufer (1876–1936)
Builders of the Desert, 1923
Oil on canvas laid down on aluminum, 50 1/8 x 50 1/8 in. (127.3 x 127.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.174
Reginald Marsh (1898–1954)
Chicago, 1930
Watercolor, over graphite, on cream wove watercolor paper, 13 7/8 x 20 in. (35.2 x 50.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1998.4
Reginald Marsh (1898–1954)
Pip and Flip, 1932
Tempera on canvas mounted on canvas, 48 1/4 x 48 1/4 in. (122.6 x 122.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection. Image © Estate of Reginald Marsh / Art Students League, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York ., 1999.96
Archibald J. Motley, Jr. (1891–1981)
Between Acts, 1935
Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 32 in. (100.3 x 81.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2009.1
Charles Sheeler (1883–1965)
Bucks County Barn, 1940
Oil on canvas, 18 3/8 x 28 3/8 in. (46.7 x 72.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.135
Romare Bearden (1911–1988)
After Church, 1941
Gouache on brown paper, 22 × 34 1/2 in. (55.9 × 87.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund. Image © 2018 Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York., 2015.2
Edward Hopper (1882–1967)
Dawn in Pennsylvania, 1942
Oil on canvas, 24 3/8 x 44 1/4 in. (61.9 x 112.4 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection. Image © Heirs of Josephine Hopper/ Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York., 1999.77
Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000)
Bar-b-que, 1942
Gouache on wove paper, 30 7/8 x 22 1/2 in. (78.4 x 57.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2013.1
Walt Kuhn (1877–1949)
Clown with Drum, 1942
Oil on canvas, 60 7/8 x 41 3/8 in. (154.6 x 105.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.172
Edward Hopper (1882–1967)
Sierra Madre at Monterrey, 1943
Watercolor with touches of wiping, over a charcoal underdrawing, on heavyweight textured ivory wove watercolor paper, 21 1/4 x 29 3/4 in. (54.0 x 75.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1994.18