Huber’s Museum, 1928

Hubers Museum, 1928

Reginald Marsh
American, b. France 1898-1954

Huber’s Museum, 1928
lithograph chine collé on heavy wove paper
8 3/4 x 13 5/8 inches
Collection purchase
Syracuse University Art Collection 1964.069
© The Art Students League of New York/ Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

In Huber’s Museum, Marsh portrays the boisterous scene of a rowdy Coney Island sideshow attraction. The print describes a ballyhoo, or a free sample performance, that was designed to attract potential customers. Marsh places the viewer amongst the audience whose focus is on four men standing on an elevated stage. From left to right are a sideshow performer, the talker who entices the audience to view the show, a cymbal-playing musician, and the ticket seller. While the main focus is the exterior of Huber’s Museum, action also occurs inside the attraction. Behind the four men are lightly sketched-in female performers. Though few details of the interior are given, Marsh includes enough to indicate that an enticing live performance will occur after the ballyhoo. Huber’s Museum offers an alternative to the artist’s predilection for female performers and sexuality. Instead, Marsh illustrates the strategies the museum used to attract a large audience.

Deanna Acosta

 

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The Best Show is the People Themselves: Reginald Marsh’s New York