Twenty Cent Movie (1936) by Reginald Marsh

Twenty Cent Movie - Reginald Marsh - 1936

Artwork Information

TitleTwenty Cent Movie
ArtistReginald Marsh
MediumEgg Tempera On Board
Dimensions30 x 40 in (76.2 x 101.6 cm)
Current LocationWhitney Museum Of American Art, New York

About Twenty Cent Movie

Reginald Marsh’s “Twenty Cent Movie” is a renowned masterpiece that depicts the seedy side of New York City. The painting, completed in 1936, portrays a group of people hanging around the Lyric Theater on 42nd Street, resembling a stage set with real-life stars, bit-players, and extras poised for action. Marsh’s work often focused on crowded Coney Island beach scenes and popular entertainments. He was renowned for his depictions of New York street life throughout the Roaring ’20s and the Great Depression.

In “Twenty Cent Movie,” Marsh highlights the culture of burlesque shows that were popular in New York during the 1930s. The painting is one of many he created depicting these shows’ backstage scenes following one’s performance. Through this piece, he gives insight into an era in America where burlesque was both scandalous and widely accepted to Americans across all socio-economic classes.

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