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Marsh, Fred Dana, 1872-1961



  • Existence: 1872-1961
  • Existence: 1872 - 1961

Biographical Note

Born in 1872 in Chicago, son of James Marsh, a stockyards commission merchant, Frederick Dana Marsh was inducted, when about 16 years old, by his father, into business. Soon his father consented to Fred'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. Fred Dana Marsh died December 20, 1961.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Frederick Dana Marsh papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC 43

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

Dates: Created: 1900-1967