Minsky’s Chorus

Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), Minsky’s Chorus, etching, c. 1935, inscribed with the artist’s name by his wife, titled, annotated State II and numbered (1/12); also initialed by Marsh’s wife Felicia (F.M.).  Not in Sasowsky. Printed in black ink on cream wove paper, in excellent condition, with margins, 9 x 11 3/4, the sheet 10 3/4 x 15 1/4 inches.

A fine impression.

This appears to be a version of Minsky’s Chorus taken after Marsh’s famous 1935 painting of the same title (which Sasowsky noted was in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hackett), although the depiction is in reverse (as would be expected if the print were drawn on copper in the same direction as the painting).  (Minsky’s was the most important striptease and burlesque club in New York City at the time.)

This print is similar in composition to Sasowsky 170 Minsky’s New Gotham Chorus of 1936. The latter appears to be somewhat sketchier than our impression, which follows the details of the painting more closely except for being in reverse of the painting, unlike S. 170.  Various possibilities explain these two variations, including the hypothesis that this was the original version, and S 170 was later (see discussion below).

An impression of this print was sold as lot 430 at Sotheby’s in May 1993, with the following entry:
“This appears to be an unrecorded, early version of Minsky’s New Gotham Chorus” (S170). Marsh probably used an impression of this print as a model for the later print, so that Minsky’s New Gotham Chorus has a very similar composition, except it is reversed as a result of the printing process.” This impression was also inscribed with the artist’s name by his wife, annotated State II, and numbered (3/12). The hammer price was $1500.