On View: American Identities: A New Look, Orientation Gallery, 5th Floor
From the outset, Coney Island’s amusements offered middle-class New Yorkers the freedom to spend their hard-won moments of leisure in an atmosphere of unfettered frivolity. Various rides offered the sexes an unusual degree of unmonitored contact that would have scandalized proper Victorians. In this vivid Depression-era painting of one of the wild “bowls,” in which friends and strangers alike were thrown into contact by the overpowering centrifugal force, the figure painter Reginald Marsh described the chaotic tangle of their bodies with the sensual physicality for which his work was best known.
Egg tempera on pressed wood panel
35 7/8 x 59 15/16 in. (91.1 x152.2 cm) (show scale)
Signed lower right: "Reginald Marsh"
Gift of William T. Evans, by exchange
© artist or artist's estate
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Reginald Marsh (American, 1898-1954). The Bowl, 1933. Egg tempera on pressed wood panel, 35 7/8 x 59 15/16 in. (91.1 x152.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of William T. Evans, by exchange, 42.404. © artist or artist's estate
overall, 42.404_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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