Is the Reginald Marsh painting "The Bowl" a close-up of another one of his paintings?
"The Bowl" shows a group of people on a ride called the Human Roulette Wheel at Coney Island. Another of his paintings, called "Human Pool Tables," that shows a similar ride or amusement at Coney. It belongs to the Art Students League.
Yes, "Human Pool Tables"! That's the one!
Great! You may have seen it in the Coney Island exhibition that was here at the Museum about a year and a half ago.
How did they not lose their purses or hats on this ride?
I wonder that myself! I imagine that they did lose them and then gathered them up when it was over!
This makes me think that the women were supposed to have a "liberating" experience, but why do they look so vapid? The one in the middle looks dead. Or is this a commentary on the "male gaze"? Were women are always supposed to look sultry?
That's an interesting interpretation. I think Reginald Marsh may have simply been practicing the same "male gaze" you speak of. The "liberating experience" was a factor, though. Coney Island was where people went to let all their cares fade away for a day.
Ah! 1930s, Great Depression, women's rights movement in full swing! I'm seeing connections.
When did Coney Island become popular?
We're all about connections here!
Coney Island first became a beach destination around 1861 and amusements became a part of the scene around 1895. Popularity really boomed in 1930 with the Depression. Most amusements cost only a nickel and subway service was extended to Coney Island at the time. Affordable escapism was necessary and popular during those years!