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Frederick Dana Marsh papers



Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Drawer 2

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Frederick Dana Marsh papers, 1900-1967

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Collection Overview

Title: Frederick Dana Marsh papers, 1900-1967Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Marsh, Frederick Dana (1872-1967)

Extent: 0.5 Linear Feet

Arrangement: This collection is arranged by type of material.

Subjects: Civil engineers, Engineering, Industrialists, Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954, Mural painting and decoration 20th century

Forms of Material: Drawing, Illustration (process), Letter (s) (correspondence), Photographs, Program (s)

Languages: English

Collection processed by: S. Kennick


This collection consists of Frederick Dana Marsh's personal papers and artistic work.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Frederick Dana Marsh (1872-1961) papers (MC 43), 1900-1967, provide a small but fascinating glimpse of Marsh's personal life and his artistic work. The biographical and autobiographical materials, primarily clippings and biographies, include two undated autobiographical essays and material regarding Frederick's son, Reginald Marsh. The correspondence contains letters concerning commissions, exhibitions, prizes and the gift of the Marsh collection (now at RPI) to the Hiland G. Batcheller Memorial Foundation. The photographs of Marsh and his homes include shots of the houses Marsh built on Marsh Island, Boothbay, ME and at Ormond Beach, FL. The reproductions of Marsh's work contain magazine covers, photographs of his painting, murals, sculptures, etc. The miscellaneous papers include programs, and miscellaneous photographs.

Oversize materials include Marsh's certificate as Associate of the National Academy of Design (1906), a photograph of Marsh Island, ME (1940), pencil drawings, watercolors, and additional reproductions of his paintings and murals.

Included in the personal papers is one folder of original artwork. These small sketches and studies are supplemented by other of Marsh's work housed in the Archives.

Biographical Note

Born in 1872 in Chicago, son of James Marsh, a stockyards commission merchant, he was inducted, when about 16 years old, by his father, into business. Soon [his father] consented to his son's education at the Chicago Art Institute. He was expected, however, to help with expenses and got jobs after classes with well known artists who where shaping up murals for the Chicago World's Fair. This grounded him in mural techniques of the big wall, big brush type.

He then went to Paris where his independent attitude toward the pursuit of art led him to avoid workshop study. In 1895, in Paris he married Alice Randall, a fellow Chicago art student. They lived in a Montparnasse studio where two sons, James and Reginald, were born. Both sons were to become noted artists. In 1900, Marsh exhibited "Lady in Scarlet," a full length portrait in vivid and luminous red, of his young wife. It won the International Bronze Medal and was widely exhibited abroad and in the U.S.

Coming home into New York after seven years in Paris the artist was impressed by the sight of brawny workmen swinging out on girders and riveting the lacy skeletons of the earliest skyscrapers on lower Manhattan. Settling in a well established art colony in Nutley, NJ, Marsh went head on into his industrial period.

Marsh created World War I posters and paintings for the U.S. government. He also created pictorial maps and miniature murals. His clients included D. Rockefeller Jr., William Rockefeller, E.H. Hutton, Herbert Pratt and other millionaires.

In 1928, Marsh retired completely from art production on a commercial basis. Within a year he had lost his parents, his wife and his third and youngest son. He moved to Ormond Beach where, on a long stretch of Atlantic Ocean frontage, he had begun to build a home. For the rest of his life he split his time between Ormond Beach, FL and Woodstock, NY.

In 1930 Marsh married Miss Mabel Van Alstyne, a New York and Woodstock artist, starting a notable artistic partnership. Together they finished a new home, embellishing every inch of it with their own hands.

Frederick Dana Marsh died December 20, 1961.

Subject/Index Terms

Civil engineers
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954
Mural painting and decoration 20th century

Administrative Information

Repository: Institute Archives and Special Collections

Preferred Citation: Frederick Dana Marsh papers, MC 43. Institute Archives and Special Collections, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Drawer 2],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Biographical and autobiographical materials, 1906-1967Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1900-1962Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Photographs of homes, portraits, 1918-1940Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Photographs of paintings, murals, and studies, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Magazine covers, 1916-1918Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Photographs of sculptures, and other projects, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Exhibition and Miscellaneous Papers, 1914-1916, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Artwork: small sketches and studies, undatedAdd to your cart.
Drawer 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Photographs of WorkAdd to your cart.
Contains 12 photographs of Marsh's work.
Folder 2: National Academy of Design Certificate, April 7, 1906Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Paintings, undatedAdd to your cart.
2 painting studies on wooden board.
Folder 4: "Carnival Scene", undatedAdd to your cart.
Painting on hard paper board
Folder 5: StudiesAdd to your cart.
13 pencil drawings (studies).
Folder 6: StudiesAdd to your cart.
Contains 4 pencil drawings (studies), water color, and assemblage of color studies.

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