John Sloan, the son of a travelling salesman, was born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, on 2nd August, 1871. His family moved to Philadelphia and after he finished high school he worked for a booksellers.
Sloan studied briefly at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts before finding work as an artist with the Philadelphia Inquirer (1892-95). This was followed by work at the Philadelphia Press (1895-1902), where he produced full-page colour pictures based on news stories.
In 1902 Sloan moved to New York where he worked as a magazine illustrator. Sloan's paintings were also exhibited in Chicago, Pittsburgh and New York City. In 1904 he met Robert Henri and became a member of what became known as the Ash Can School, a group of artists who painted pictures of everyday urban life. Other members associated with the group included George Bellows, Rockwell Kent and Edward Hopper.
In 1910 Sloan joined the Socialist Party and the following year became art editor of the radical journal, The Masses. Although they were rarely paid, Sloan persuaded some of leading artists to provide pictures for the magazine. Artists such as Robert Henri, Stuart Davis, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Art Young, Boardman Robinson, Robert Minor, K. R. Chamberlain, and Maurice Becker.
Floyd Dell later recalled: "At the monthly editorial meetings, where the literary editors were usually ranged on one side of all questions and the artists on the other. The squabbles between literary and art editors were usually over the question of intelligibility and propaganda versus artistic freedom; some of the artists held a smouldering grudge against the literary editors, and believed that Max Eastman and I were infringing the true freedom of art by putting jokes or titles under their pictures. John Sloan and Art Young were the only ones of the artists who were verbally quite articulate; but fat, genial Art Young sided with the literary editors usually; and John Sloan, a very vigorous and combative personality, spoke up strongly for the artists."
Sloan was a strong supporter of woman suffrage and contributed drawing to the feminist magazines, Woman Voter and Woman's Journal. Sloan continued to work for The Masses until 1916, when he left over a dispute with Max Eastman about the captions being used with the cartoons.
Sloan became a teacher at the Arts Students League. After the First World War Sloan moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he painted local people. He later recalled: "When I painted the life of the poor, I was not thinking about them like a social worker - but with the eye of a poet who sees with affection." He also contributed illustrations to Collier's Magazine, Harper's Weekly and the Saturday Evening Post.
Stephen Coppel, the author of The American Scene (2008) has pointed out: "Sloan was a prolific printmaker: between 1891 and 1940 he produced some three hundred etchings. He also tried lithography, but etching remained his true medium. He wrote about printmaking, focusing upon his personal experiences of the medium. He also produced more technical notes, giving a systematic guide to etching from how to ground the plate to the choice of paper used. His influence as one of the first chroniclers of the American scene and his technical abilities as an etcher would have a profound influence upon later American artists."
Sloan autobiography, Gist of Art, was published in 1939. In his book Sloan explained that: "I have always painted for myself and made my living by illustrating and teaching. I have never made a living from my painting." In his later years Sloan became increasingly concerned with studies of the nude in the 1940s.
John Sloan died on 7th September, 1951.
The night the first copy of The Masses (under Max Eastman's editorship) came out, I sold seventy-eight copies. It was at a Suffrage parade. I went up to people, sometimes got on the running board of a car, saying, "Buy it. It will be worth ten dollars some day."
I was paid twenty-five dollars a week for helping Max Eastman get out the magazine. My job on The Masses was to read manuscripts, bring the best of them to editorial meetings to be voted on, send back what we couldn't use, read proof, and 'make up' the magazine - all duties with which I was familiar; and also to help plan political cartoons and persuade the artists to draw them. I could submit my stories and poems anonymously to the editorial meetings, hear them discussed, and print them if they were accepted.
At the monthly editorial meetings, where the literary editors were usually ranged on one side of all questions and the artists on the other. John Sloan and Art Young were the only ones of the artists who were verbally quite articulate; but fat, genial Art Young sided with the literary editors usually; and John Sloan, a very vigorous and combative personality, spoke up strongly for the artists.
Nobody gained a penny out of the things published in the magazine; it was an honour to get into its pages, an honour conferred by vote at the meetings. Max Eastman and I did get salaries for editorial work; but that was regarded as dirty work, which ought to be paid for. We were actually a little republic in which, as artists, we worked for the approval of our fellows, not for money.
When I painted the life of the poor, I was not thinking about them like a social worker - but with the eye of a poet who sees with affection.
Ever since the great War broke out in 1914 this world has been a crazy place to live in. I hate war and I put the hatred into cartoons in the Masses. I had great hopes for the world's socialist parties until 1914. Then I saw how they fell apart. Some of the leaders were killed; the emotional patterns of national pride set one country against another. I became disillusioned.
Sloan was a prolific printmaker: between 1891 and 1940 he produced some three hundred etchings. His influence as one of the first chroniclers of the American scene and his technical abilities as an etcher would have a profound influence upon later American artists.
Born in Lock Haven, Pa., on Aug. 2, 1871, John Sloan was taken to Philadelphia as a child. After he finished high school, he worked for booksellers and dry-goods dealers. He studied briefly under Thomas Anshutz at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and in 1892 was employed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a newspaper artist. Robert Henri encouraged him as a painter, and he was influenced by Japanese prints. In 1895 he moved to the Philadelphia Press, for which he drew full-page color pictures until 1902. His early paintings were street scenes, somber in color, vivid and direct in execution. These were first exhibited in 1900 in Chicago and Pittsburgh, and he was included in a New York group show in 1901.
Sloan married in 1901 and in 1904 moved to New York. For many years he supported himself as a magazine illustrator and, after 1906, as a teacher. A series of 10 etchings of city life in 1905-1906, rich in content, often with undercurrents of humor or irony, found no purchasers. Though his work was seen in these years in the Carnegie International Exhibition and the National Academy of Design, more often than not his pungent and unidealized urban scenes were rejected by academic critics. It was in part his rejection by the academy in 1907 that caused Henri to withdraw from that organization. Sloan was one of the group of painters called "The Eight," whose exhibition at the Macbeth Gallery in 1908 called attention to the radical subject matter and vigorous execution of five of the painters—Henri, Sloan, William Glackens, George Luks, and Everett Shinn.
Sloan and his wife joined the Socialist party in 1910, and he became art editor of its magazine, The Masses, to which he contributed some of his most compelling drawings. In 1910 and again in 1913 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the New York State Assembly. He withdrew from the party in 1914 but remained on the staff of The Masses for 2 more years. He sold his first painting in 1913 to Dr. Albert C. Barnes. He was well represented that same year in the celebrated Armory Show but was too completely a representational artist to have much sympathy for the new European movements exhibited there.
Sloan was an active teacher at the Art Students League and served as its president in 1931. He was president of the Society of Independent Artists from 1918 until his death this organization staged large, no-jury, no-prize shows from 1917 until 1944.
From 1914 to 1918 Sloan spent the summers in Gloucester, Mass., where he painted landscapes as well as people. He traveled to the Southwest for the first time in 1919, and for the rest of his life spent long periods in Santa Fe, N. Mex., where he built a house in 1940. The life of the Indians, the ceremonial activities of the Spanish inhabitants, and the dramatic desert landscape provided powerful new subjects. In 1931 he was active in organizing a large exhibition of Indian tribal arts.
After about 1930 Sloan painted no more city scenes but became increasingly concerned with studies of the nude. The late paintings are monumental and technically innovative. In contrast to the direct execution of his earlier work, these are carefully constructed with monochrome underpainting, upon which an elaborate surface of bold cross-hatchings in color gives startling relief.
The power of Sloan's personality is well conveyed in Gist of Art (1939), a compilation of statements made to his students which were recorded by Helen Farr, who became his second wife, in 1944. Sloan died on Sept. 7, 1951, in Hanover, N.H.
Painter, illustrator and teacher. With William Glackens, George Luks, Robert Henri, and Everett Shinn, Sloan was part of the Ashcan School. His sympathetic, but unsentimental, depictions of urban life and the working class expressed his commitment to social reform.
Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995 )
In 1888 , having grown up in Philadelphia, Sloan had to leave high school in his senior year when his father’s business failed. He took a job as a cashier with a book and print dealer and found he was able to sell the greeting cards and copies of etchings by Rembrandt and Dürer that he had made. His subsequent training consisted of commercial artwork—calendars, illustrations, and greeting cards—and an evening class in drawing at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts taught by Thomas Anshutz. Sloan began his career as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines, a profession that had attracted other future Ashcan painters then living in Philadelphia. When they—Henri, Luks, Glackens, and Shinn—moved to New York, Sloan followed, improved his oil technique, and was soon a full-fledged, exhibiting member of the Ashcan group.
In Gloucester for only five summers ( 1914 – 18 ), Sloan painted primarily landscapes and seascapes, but a total of almost 300 works—more than in the preceding twenty-four years of his career. These summers gave Sloan an opportunity to explore approaches to painting that he had not had the time or resources to explore while earning a living as an illustrator. Just as many saw New England as a touchstone for the founding ideas of the nation, the region served as a source of renewed creativity for Sloan.
John Sloan Artworks
Sloan's foray into the art world began as an illustrator for newspapers and a designer of book covers and posters. His ability to succinctly yet artistically render eye-catching subjects and craft sophisticated questions made him a highly popular puzzle designer. This work on paper was created during his employment at the Philadelphia Press, where he created puzzles for the newspaper's Sunday edition from 1899. In this particular puzzle, readers are asked to find hidden flute player within the drawing of a snake charmer, submitting their answers to the paper who would award prizes.
While these puzzle drawings provided a much-needed income for Sloan, they were also an important opportunity for the largely self-taught artist to hone his skills. While he would become best known for his realist Ashcan School paintings, these early works show Sloan's earlier versatility in the Art Nouveau poster style. According to David Scott, in describing these paintings, "Sloan thoroughly enjoyed the work, and he poured ingenuity and imagination into the games he played with words, shapes, and colors.
Characteristic of Art Nouveau, Sloan's line ran into spirited fantasy when it had the freedom to take off on rhythmic excursions depicting plant forms, flowing hair, billowing or patterned drapery, or swirling water. Decorative passages were carried exuberantly to the verge of independent abstractions." Here, Sloan's colorful illustration features a woman, gracefully captured in motion with an "s" shape curve to her body. Her left arm is bent at a ninety-degree angle with her hand pointing towards the snake which she watches as it curls its way around her arm.
Ink and watercolor, color linecut reproduction - Collection of Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
For both the viewer and the figures in this street scene, the focal point of Sloan's painting is a female hairdresser, visible through the second story window of a building. Positioned in side profile, with gloved hands she is coloring the long red hair of a woman whose back is turned to us. It is a slice of everyday life, complete with the overwhelming visual display that characterized the urban experience in the early 20 th century.
This work is an important early example of the Ashcan School, a group in which Sloan played a key role. Artists associated with this style featured day-to-day moments of life in New York City, preserving their mundane but gritty realism. At the same time, the painting becomes a statement about looking - both at the painting itself and at the world. According to John Loughery, "the theme of the window frame and the very act of looking inevitably became almost a preoccupation for Sloan. "
Sloan spent hours walking the city streets and sketching scenes like the one found here. He also worked from his window and rooftop, watching people go about their lives. At the same time that he documented this urban community, he often captured loneliness, the lack of connection, and the sense of isolation that can exist among a crowd. The private act of grooming is performed for an audience (unknown to the client), but all of these people remain strangers to each other. It is an accidental community, bound together for a fleeting instant.
Oil on canvas - Collection of The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut
The Haymarket, Sixth Avenue
A contrast in colors, John Sloan's painting features a group of women, elegantly dressed in white, entering a building in the darkness of evening. The sign above the open, illuminated doorway reads "Haymarket."
The painting, one of many New York City-themed works Sloan created as part of The Eight, depicts a dance hall. This was a scandalous subject, particularly as the women were shown entering the building (a dance hall of ill repute) without male escorts. This characterized them as independent modern women, in search of pleasure and not bound by the expectations of proper genteel society. This was radical for American art.
Despite its provocative subject, however, Sloan refrained from overt social commentary or critique. Even though he was personally involved with radical politics, Sloan's paintings generally lacked the social criticism that was the main goal for some of The Eight. Rather than showing city life through a single lens, Sloan's works are often morally ambiguous. According to John Loughery, for Sloan ". the city encompassed squalor and exuberance at one and the same time, and that moments of anguish and exhilaration were not antithetical but necessarily linked, or not so much overlapping as entwined."
Perhaps influenced by the unconventional background of his wife, Dolly, who had worked in a brothel, Sloan is often sympathetic to working women. Specifically in this work, the historian Thomas J. Gilfoyle claims that Sloan's representations of these prostitutes are more human, and that, "instead of depicting the prostitute in a brothel or as an offering for the supporting male, Sloan presented her as she presented herself and her neighborhood. The prostitute was, in essence, an ordinary woman."
Oil on canvas - Collection of Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York
While working in the Ashcan School style, Sloan created many scenes of daily life in New York City but what is important in this scene is that he was not simply an impartial observer at this bar, but a regular patron of the establishment. Interested in the range of customers at the (now legendary and still functioning) McSorley's bar, which only admitted men, Sloan captured these figures in a moment of animated conversation. Like Sloan's paintings of women, the men are presented without judgment or criticism, but rather with a detached fascination for their poses, gestures, and character.
In this painting, the large wood bar dominates the center of the composition, but it unites rather than divides the employees and the patrons. Distinguished by their white shirts and aprons, the two men tending bar are at the center, contrasting with the visitors who are engaged in conversation and drinks. The effect is lively, but not exceptional in any fashion Sloan gives us an insight into an ordinary scene of daily life without embellishing it for greater dramatic effect.
Oil on canvas - Collection of Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan
Sunflowers, Rocky Net
Water dominates the center of Sunflowers, Rocky Net, nestled between a distant village of houses and steepled buildings and a patchy field of green grass in the foreground. A large rock on the left stands in stark contrast to the wild sunflowers that grow along the water's edge.
The summer of 1914 was important for Sloan, who joined the seasonal artistic community in Gloucester. Free from the often-oppressive burdens of city life, it was a period of explosive creativity for Sloan. In this first summer, he created sixty paintings in an attempt to meet a goal of making one painting a day. Most of these works featured the landscape views of Gloucester. In a shift from his usual working routines, the art historian John Loughery noted that Sloan got "into the 'habit of working,'" and would "paint outdoors every morning regardless of inspiration, and consider his art in a more abstract, less literary way." As we see in this work, when freed the gritty subjects of city life, Sloan adopted a looser brushstroke and incorporated a broader range of colors. The shift highlights the influence of the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, specifically the sunflower motif suggests a visual nod to Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh.
The Gloucester landscapes marked a turning point for Sloan as he moved away from the Ashcan School style which had previously dominated his work. After this, he would explore a rich variety of approaches and styles in the remaining decades of his career.
Oil on canvas - Collection of Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts
Eagles of Tesuque
John Sloan's painting Eagles of Tesuque features two members of the Pueblo Indian tribe performing the ceremonial Eagle dance. A line of Native Americans stand in a row to the left of the dancers. The background is a line of pueblo houses set against a brilliant blue, cloud-filled sky.
This work speaks to an important theme in Sloan's oeuvre: the landscapes and the people of the American Southwest. Following the advice of Robert Henri, Sloan began to summer in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1919. Unlike anything he had experienced on the East Coast, the landscape provided much inspiration for his paintings of which the artist stated, "I like to paint the landscape of the Southwest because of the fine geometric formations and handsome color. [. ] The ground is not covered with green mold as it is elsewhere. [. ] Because the air is so clear you feel the reality of things in the distance." In time, this region would attract other modern artists, most notably Georgia O'Keeffe, drawn to the color and atmosphere, as well as the escape from the hectic life of New York City.
Oil on canvas - Collection of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado
The White Way
Set at the busy intersection of New York City's Broadway and Fiftieth Streets, Sloan conjures a cold wintry day of snowy streets crowded with hurried pedestrians. Behind them are illuminated numerous buildings, a street light, and a trolley bus traveling down the street.
The inspiration for this work was made from a sketch he actually drew in the freezing cold, capturing the atmosphere and energy of a spontaneous moment. While the subject of city life had been a recurring theme for Sloan, this later work celebrated the city as bright and dynamic, with less attention on the individual experience than his earlier Ashcan School paintings. The work is more observational in nature, rendered in a lighter palette and looser brushstrokes that gives it a more impressionistic feel. This represented a general shift in Sloan's work soon after this painting was finished, he would shift much of his attention to landscape paintings, portraits, and nudes.
Oil on canvas - Collection of Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nude with Red Hand Mirror
As reflected in the title, this painting features a nude female seated in a chair, legs crossed and partially covered with a red blanket, with her body turned to the right so that she can see her reflection in a small red mirror she holds in her right hand. She stands out from her surroundings, seeming almost too large for this small corner of the room, with her pale skin sharply contrasting with the vibrant blue cloth and red blanket around her.
This painting illustrates two characteristics of Sloan's later career in both its subject and its style. Beginning in the 1920s, Sloan began painting female nudes often. This painting also provides a good example of the unique cross-hatching line technique Sloan used to enhance his figures. Rather than sweeping brushstrokes, the dimensionality of the female's figure is rendered in a series of curving and overlapping lines.
This combination of a highly traditional subject with an innovative technique was not well received by many critics, nor the public who struggled to understand it. David Scott explained that contemporary viewers were troubled by the approach since "his figures basically represented a transcription of the visual world as we know it, whereas the surface markings belonged to another plane of abstraction." This combination of abstract and figurative design made his work less appealing to those who had previously appreciated his realism. At the same time, it remained too naturalistic to appeal to collectors of more abstract painting, leaving little market interest for these paintings. The decision to boldly change styles at this late stage of his career demonstrates Sloan's commitment to experimentation and his belief in artistic freedom. Despite the critical and financial consequences, John Sloan was indeed a modern artist, unafraid to push boundaries and try new things.
Tempera with overglaze on panel - Collection of The John Sloan Trust, Wilmington, Delaware
John French Sloan
Though best known as a painter of incidents on the streets of New York, John Sloan began his career as an illustrator, and the lessons of illustration remained central to his practice. Between 1892 and 1915, illustration was Sloan&rsquos primary means of support, and his work appeared in newspapers, books, and magazines, and on advertising posters. Sloan&rsquos illustration work inflected his paintings and etchings, helping to shape his interests and his technique.
Born in 1871 in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, Sloan moved to Philadelphia with his family at the age of five. He grew up in a household that prized books, periodicals, and prints, and the earliest evidence of Sloan&rsquos artistic talent comes in the form of drawings added to his 1883 copy of Treasure Island. Using ink, watercolor, and pencil, the young Sloan produced several half-page illustrations, penned tiny images in the table of contents, and even added his name to the title page. Produced when the artist was around age twelve, these drawings foreshadowed Sloan&rsquos future vocation.
Sloan&rsquos career as a professional illustrator began while he was still in his teens. As a young man, he was forced to leave the prestigious Central High School to help support his family. One of his early jobs was at A. Edward Newton, where he produced cards, gift books, and other novelties. Many of these items were produced as etchings, a medium he taught himself in the late 1880s. For Newton, Sloan depicted the homes of famous poets, designed pretty calendars, and etched booklets like Thoughts from Tennyson. His delicate, precise renderings reveal a flair for decoration, which helped him earn a position on the staff of the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1892.
That year Sloan rented a studio on Chestnut Street with another illustrator, Joe Laub. He also began to take classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and met the painter Robert Henri, who had just returned from study in Paris. Sloan&rsquos diverse interests are apparent in the business card that he produced about that time. On the card, etched with architectural and foliate motifs, Sloan promoted his skills in designing, etching, illustrating, advertising sketches, and lettering. Sloan continued at the Inquirer, until he received a better offer from the competing Philadelphia Press. At the newspapers, Sloan produced a wide range of illustrations including on-the-spot news pictures, though it quickly became apparent that this was not his strength, unlike his friends William Glackens, George Luks, and Everett Shinn who excelled at rapid sketches.
Sloan specialized in decorative work, like headings, puzzles, and illustrations for fiction and the society pages. He studied French and English illustrators including Daumier, Gavarni, Leech, and Du Maurier. He developed an elegant personal style, using flat patterns and sinuous lines that drew on French art nouveau and Japanese woodblock prints. Sloan was part of the emerging aesthetic of the poster style. His stylized illustrations began to appear in advertisements and little magazines, like Moods and The Echo, and on book covers, as well as in the Philadelphia papers. With Shinn, Sloan attempted to launch a magazine named and patterned after the French Gil Blas, with illustrations by his expanding circle of friends. These little magazines were very short-lived, but at the end of the decade Sloan&rsquos elegant illustrations began to appear in books and mainstream magazines. By that time, his presence was strong at the Press where he produced puzzles for the Sunday supplement. In 1900, his puzzles became full-page color features that invited readers to send their solutions to the newspaper for a ten-dollar prize.
Around the turn of the century, under the influence of Henri, Sloan was beginning to paint more seriously, producing portraits and scenes of life in his Philadelphia neighborhood. His work for the Press was supplemented with a major commission to etch illustrations for a luxurious edition of the works of the French author, Charles Paul de Kock, published by Frederick J. Quinby Co. of Boston. In all Sloan produced 53 etchings for the series. His images include humorous character studies and groups of figures interacting in the streets, gardens, and drawing rooms of mid-19th century Paris. The De Kock commission honed Sloan&rsquos abilities as an etcher and earned him praise as an illustrator.
His reputation as an illustrator and his mastery of etching served him well when he moved to New York in 1904. His New York City Life set&mdasha series of etchings featuring humorous glimpses of the streets and apartments of Sloan&rsquos neighborhood&mdashbenefitted from the lessons learned producing the De Kock project. The City Life etchings, which were not illustrations, vividly conveyed the character of the city&rsquos neighborhoods and residents through composition, pose, and expression.
In moving to New York, Sloan followed several Philadelphia friends. Around the turn of the century, Henri, Shinn, Glackens, and Luks had all relocated to New York, which had become the national center of art and publishing. As newspapers moved toward the use of more photographs, Sloan and his illustrator friends were forced to shift their focus toward magazines and books. Newspaper puzzles and cartoons remained sources of income for Sloan and Luks, but Sloan also sought commissions from Century, Collier&rsquos and McClure&rsquos. His adoptive city provided the setting for some of Sloan&rsquos most accomplished magazine illustrations, like his pictures for &ldquoThe Steady&rdquo from 1905. In addition, he and his friends became increasingly interested in painting the people and places they encountered in New York.
Finding their city paintings frequently rejected from juried exhibitions, the group of friends, headed by Henri, began to organize alternative exhibitions. In 1908, Sloan, Henri, Shinn, Glackens, and Luks received an enormous amount of press attention when they exhibited together&mdashwith three other friends, Arthur B. Davies, Ernest Lawson, and Maurice Prendergast&mdashat Macbeth Galleries. Portrayed as a protest against the conservatism of the National Academy of Design, the show was a huge success attracting publicity, visitors, and sales. The group became known as the Eight and the exhibition toured around the country. None of Sloan&rsquos work sold, however, and he supported himself that year, in part, by illustrating Ralph Bergengren&rsquos humorous pirate tales in Collier&rsquos in a clever woodcut style. His style was popular with the author, and the stories were popular with the public. Sloan continued to illustrate Bergengren&rsquos pirate tales for five more years, even as he became increasingly engaged with Socialist politics.
Between 1911 and 1914, Sloan would produce some of his most powerful and important illustrations for the Socialist press. In 1911 he memorialized the horrific death of garment workers in his neighborhood with The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which appeared in the New York Call. In 1912 Sloan joined the board of The Masses and helped to transform it into a groundbreaking publication. Like other Socialists in Greenwich Village, Sloan was at least as interested in artistic freedom as he was in party doctrine and the magazine reflected this orientation. Illustrations often appeared without text and even covers need not be overtly political. The covers Sloan designed for The Masses included a scathing indictment of John D. Rockefeller and a girl swinging in Washington Square, and his presence at The Masses helped attract submissions from less politically engaged artist-friends, like Glackens, George Bellows, and Stuart Davis.
Work for The Masses did not pay, and Sloan was fortunate that his friend Norman Hapgood had become editor of Harper&rsquos Weekly. Hapgood purchased covers and significant illustrations, often of New York City subjects, from Sloan between 1913 and 1915. In Harper&rsquos and The Masses, and in his paintings and etchings, Sloan depicted life on the streets and in the parks of lower Manhattan, where he lived. As an artist and illustrator, in the teens Sloan became known for his depictions of Chelsea and Greenwich Village.
After 1915, Sloan&rsquos output as an illustrator declined sharply. He left The Masses and began teaching at the Art Students League. Kraushaar Galleries began to represent him in 1916, providing occasional sales, and Sloan supported himself as an instructor, with only occasional forays into illustration. Though he increasingly identified himself as a teacher and a painter, Sloan did take on a few important book projects after 1916&mdashMitch Miller by Edgar Lee Masters in 1920, The Beginning of a Mortal by Max Miller in 1933, and W. Somerset Maugham&rsquos Of Human Bondage in 1938.
Antoinette Kraushaar Takes Charge
When Antoinette inherited the business in 1946, she found herself the senior figure of the group of women who had established galleries that regularly showed contemporary American art. She began the fifties with a Maurice Prendergast retrospective, an artist whose work the gallery had promoted for nearly forty years. During this decade, the gallery’s roster continued to evolve, and she took on several artists whose careers had begun in the teens and twenties, including Peggy Bacon, Marguerite Zorach, and Andrée Ruellan. The gallery’s stable remained eclectic, and it was not locked in to single style, broadening customer opportunities. A strong focus remained landscape, figure painting, still life, and a small group of sculptors.
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Art History News
Known as the “dean of American artists,” John Sloan was one of the most influential members of the Ashcan school. Born in 1871 in Lock Haven, PA, he lived and worked in Philadelphia for most of his early career prior to his fateful decision to pursue art in New York City. Sloan first nurtured his artistic talents by working as a clerk at Porter & Coates, a dealer in books and fine prints, where he drew copies of Rembrandt images and designed greeting cards for clients. Self-taught in etching, he additionally attended night classes at the Spring Garden Institute and enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts between 1892-1894, where he studied under Thomas Anshutz. [
Like most of his Ashcan colleagues, Sloan launched his career in commercial illustration. In 1892, he began working for the Philadelphia Inquirer and later moved to the art department at the Philadelphia Press. A member of the “Philadelphia Five,” he frequently met with William Glackens, George Luks, Everett Shinn, and Robert Henri in the latter’s studio at 806 Walnut Street. Henri had a profound influence on Sloan and actively encouraged him to paint. Sloan acknowledged, “It was Robert Henri who set me up to painting seriously without his inspiring friendship and guidance I probably might never have thought of it at all.”
With his newspaper opportunities dwindling, Sloan moved to New York in 1904, the site of the nation’s flourishing art scene and cultural and intellectual center. He was at first apprehensive of his new surroundings and admitted that “New York still awed an unacclimated Pennsylvanian.”
Yet Sloan recognized the vast potential for his career and found New York to be more “artistic,” noting that “a good thing done in New York is heralded abroad – a good thing done in Philadelphia is well-done in Philadelphia.”
He quickly came to love New York and described it as the “gayest of cities, the cosmopolitan palette where the spectrum changed in every side of the street.”
Of all the Ashcan artists, Sloan’s images of New York City celebrated the lives of ordinary Americans in a way that was unprecedented in American art. He found his subjects in his immediate surroundings the streets he traveled and the people he encountered were immediately translated to canvas. Sloan walked several miles a day in search of subject matter, until he “soaked in something to paint,” and kept extensive details of what he observed in his diary.
He typically captured New Yorkers going about their routines from the perspective of an outside observer, painting intimate scenes with a window-like viewpoint in order to focus closely and observe the subject undetected.
Sloan’s subjects were as diverse and varied as the city itself. He painted New York’s great avenues and landmarks, the tenements of the Lower East Side, the sweeping vistas of the Manhattan skyline, the crowd of working-class men at McSorley’s Bar, the audience in the moving picture house, the election night festivities in Herald Square, and the trio of women drying their hair on a Sunday morning. Sloan’s images of New York provided a sprawling and comprehensive pictorial testament to urban life and culture at the turn of the century. His student, Guy Péne du Bois aptly described him as the “historian of Sixth Avenue, Fourteenth Street, Union Square, and Madison Square.”
Sloan was keenly aware of New York’s rapidly changing environment and acknowledged that “the fun of being a New York painter is that landmarks are torn down so rapidly that your canvases become historical records before the paint on them is dry.”
While Sloan’s work is commonly associated with metropolitan views of New York City and Philadelphia, he became interested in other themes and locales. From 1914-1918 he spent his summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he experimented with bright colors and impasto brushwork.
In 1920, he purchased a summer home in Santa Fe, where he was actively identified with the art of New Mexico and the Southwest. During the latter portion of his career, city subjects became less appealing and he turned his focus to landscapes, interiors, portraits and nudes. In the tradition of the Ashcan school, Sloan preferred the realism of Homer, Eakins, Manet, Courbet and Daumier in stark contrast to the aestheticism of the Impressionists. His earlier works were grounded in urban realism and his later works characterized by a distinct, cross-hatching style.
Sloan’s works are particularly distinctive in the context of the Ashcan school due to his strong commitment to politics. In 1910, he joined the Socialist Party and in 1912 began creating illustrations for the popular socialist magazine The Masses. In spite of great economic prosperity, New York also presented the Ashcan artists with glaring inequalities between the classes. The city itself was physically divided by neighborhoods of grand mansions juxtaposed to poor immigrant communities and dilapidated slums. Sloan was undoubtedly influenced by the socially conscious art of the Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siquieros, and José Clemente Orozco. Though he never espoused propaganda, his socialist beliefs resonate in his urban scenes and deeply sympathetic treatment of lower-class subjects.
Sloan was also an esteemed art instructor who had a profound influence on his students. Beginning in 1914, he taught at the Art Students League and later at the George Luks School of Art. After his death, the art critic Edward Allan Jewel wrote: “He is the artist’s guide, philosopher and friend. He is himself the artist through and through. And he brings to the profession of teaching a fervor so intense that it may be described as mystical. There are, to be sure, many liberal and independent minds. There are many artists, many teachers. There is only one John Sloan.”
During his lifetime, Sloan did not achieve much financial success due to the inventiveness and fiercely independent nature of his artistic vision. He was later dubbed a “rebel with a paintbrush” as a result of his refusal to cater to academic or market perceptions of acceptable art. As his biographer Lloyd Goodrich acknowledged, “His early work had been too realistic for its day his mature genre paintings ran counter to the trend of expressionism and his figure pieces to the trend toward abstraction.” Yet Sloan made a conscious decision to ignore the fashionable styles and conventions of his time and worked to “please himself.” He deliberately painted “summer scenes for winter sales” and his “darkest, blackest pictures when impressionism became the vogue.”
Owing to the visionary and avant-garde nature of his art, Sloan’s works would not be fully appreciated until after his time. He passed away in 1951 due to postoperative complications in Hanover, New Hampshire. Today, his works are venerated for their aesthetic and historical value. After his death, Life Magazine asserted that no living man had a greater influence in the American Art world.
John Sloan left a lasting mark on the American art scene at the turn of the century and an important legacy for the succeeding generations of American artists. His works continue to memorialize the city in which they were created and the era in which they were produced. His art is collected by every major museum including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.
1871 Born August 2, in Lock Haven, PA, son of James Dixon Sloan and Henrietta Ireland Sloan
1876 Family moved to Germantown, PA and then Philadelphia, PA
1884 Began attending Philadelphia’s Central High School – classmates included William Glackens and Albert C. Barnes
1888 Left the Central High School in order to support his family. Became employed as clerk at Porter & Coates, dealer in books and fine prints
1892 Began working in the art department of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Shared studio at 705 Walnut with Joe Laub. Enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he studied under Thomas Anshutz and first met Robert Henri.
1893 Became friends with George Luks and Everett Shinn. With Glackens and Henri, became cofounder of the Charcoal Club. Rented Henri’s studio at 806 Walnut Street with Laub.
1895 Left the Inquirer to work for the Philadelphia Press
1898 Moved to NYC to work for the New York Herald in July. Returned to Philadelphia in October and resumed work for the Philadelphia Press
1900 Exhibited Walnut Street Theater at the Art Institute of Chicago and exhibited Independence Square, Philadelphia at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh
1901 Exhibited for the first time in the Annual Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Exhibited at Allan Gallery, in the first independent group show organized by Henri. Married Dolly Wall
1902 Began illustrations for the deluxe edition of the novels of Charles Paul de Kock
1903 Left the Philadelphia Press but continued to work for them marginally
1904 Permanently moved to NYC into Sherwood Studio Building his studio on the same floor as Henri’s. Moved to apartment at 165 West 23rd Street. Exhibited in group show at the National Arts Club in New York. Exhibited at the Society of American Artists.
1905 Made the first eight etchings of the New York City life series. Received Honorable Mention for The Coffee Line at the 8th International of the Carnegie Institute.
1906 Began writing in his diary, which he continued doing through 1913
1907 Briefly taught one day a week at the Pittsburgh Art Students League
1908 “The Eight” exhibition opened at the Macbeth Gallery
1909 Began using the Maratta color system
1910 Joined the Socialist Party. Exhibited with and served as Treasurer for the Exhibition of Independent Artists. Ran for a seat in the New York State assembly on the Socialist ticket.
1912 Joined Editorial board and acts as Art Director of socialist political magazine The Masses. Leased studio at 35 Sixth Avenue in the Greenwich Village. Rented apartment at 155 East 22nd street, close to Henri’s apartment near Gramercy Park. Later moved to a new apartment on 61 Perry Street.
1913 Moved to new apartment at 240 West 4th Street. Exhibited two paintings and five etchings in the International Exhibition of Modern Art (Armory Show). Moved to an 8th floor studio at 35 6th Avenue. Sold Nude, Green Scarf to Dr. Albert C. Barnes.
1914 Began spending summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts
1915 Moved apartment and studio to 88 Washington Place in the Greenwich Village
1916 First one man exhibition at Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s studio. Began association with the Kraushaar Galleries. John Kraushaar would remain his art dealer throughout his life. Resigned from The Masses and left the Socialist Party. Began teaching at the Art Students League in September
1917 Participated in first exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists
1918 Became President of the Society of Independent Artists. Solo exhibition at Kraushaar Galleries.
1919 Began spending summers in Santa Fe, NM purchased home there in 1920
1921 Overseas exhibition by Whitney included Sloan’s works
1923 Sold twenty oil paintings to George Otis Hamlin
1924 Served on jury of American section of the Carnegie International. Resigned from the Art Students League
1925 Returned to the Art Students League
1926 Awarded Philadelphia Sesquicentennial International Exposition’s Gold Medal for etching Hell-Hole (1917)
1927 Moved apartment and studio to 53 Washington Square South
1928 Adopted underpainting and glazing techniques
1929 Elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Works featured in MoMA’s exhibition “Nineteen Living Americans”
1931 Made honorary member and elected President of the Art Students League. Awarded Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Beck Gold Medal for Vagis the Sculptor (1930)
1932 Resigned as President of the Art Students League. Began teaching at the Ecole d’Arte, Alexander Archipenko’s school, where he worked until February 1933. Founded the Washington Square Outdoor Show. Works featured in MoMA’s exhibition “American Painting and Sculpture, 1862-1932”
1934 Elected head of the George Luks School by students and executors, taught there until May 1935
1935 Returned to Art Students League, where he remained a teacher until 1937. Moved his apartment and studio to the Chelsea Hotel
1936 Whitney Museum of American Art organized exhibition of Sloan’s etchings
1937 Whitney Museum of American Art organized “New York Realists, 1900-1914”
1939 Published Gist of Art. Metropolitan Museum of Art organized exhibition “Life in America” at the World Fair
1942 Elected to American Academy of Arts and Letters. Won first prize at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Artists for Victory” exhibition with print Fifth Avenue in 1909
1943 Retrospective on Sloan at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Death of Dolly Sloan
1944 Remarried to Helen Farr in February
1945 Sloan delivered Moody Lecture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Philadelphia Museum of Art organized “Artists of Philadelphia: William Glackens, George Luks, Everett Shinn, John Sloan”
1946 Dartmouth College exhibited “John Sloan Paintings and Prints: 75th Anniversary Retrospective”
1947 Began to keep a diary again
1950 Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited “American Paintings Today.” Sloan inducted to American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
1951 Died on September 7th from postoperative complications in Hanover, NH
1952 Whitney Museum of American Art organized memorial retrospective
Sir John Soane’s Museum is the extraordinary house and museum of the British architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837). On this page, discover the history of the Museum, its founder and its world class collections.
Sir John Soane was one of the foremost architects of the Regency era, a Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy, and a dedicated collector of paintings, sculpture, architectural fragments and models, books, drawings and furniture.
Born in 1753, the fourth son of a bricklayer, his father’s professional links with architects and his own natural talent for drawing won him the opportunity to train as an architect. A talented and hard-working student, Soane was awarded the Royal Academy’s prestigious Gold Medal for Architecture, as a result receiving a bursary (funded by King George III) to undertake a Grand Tour of Europe. His travels to the ruins of Ancient Rome, Paestum and Pompeii would inspire his lifelong interest in Classical art and architecture.
Soane’s inventive use of light, space and his experimentation with the forms of Classical architecture earned him great success as an architect. During his career he won numerous high-profile projects, including the Bank of England (where he was architect for 45 years) and Dulwich Picture Gallery, and created his own extraordinary home and Museum on Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
His successes as an architect and his fascination with the history of architecture let to his appointment as Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy in 1806. Already an enthusiastic collector, he began to repurpose his home at Lincoln’s Inn Fields as a Museum for students of architecture.
Today, Sir John Soane’s Museum occupies three buildings, Nos 12, 13, and 14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Sir John Soane acquired and rebuilt each of these buildings during his lifetime.
In 1792, Soane bought No. 12, at that time a 17th century house which he demolished and rebuilt as his home and office. Close to the Bank of England, of which he was Architect, the Royal Academy (then at Somerset House) and the coaching inns on High Holborn, the property was a convenient location for Soane as both a home and an office. In 1807, now Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy, Soane bought and moved into No. 13, the house next door, creating a larger architectural office and what is today the Dome Area, which he filled with his rapidly expanding collections, and renting out the front of No. 12. In late 1823, he acquired No. 14, which he demolished and rebuilt in 1824-25, designing a new Picture Room as an extension to No. 13 to house his expanding collection of paintings.
With a collection containing thousands of objects ranging from Ancient Egyptian antiquities and Roman sculpture to models of contemporary buildings, Soane’s house had become a Museum by the time of his death. He acquired some spectacular items, including the sarcophagus of the Egyptian pharaoh, Seti I.
The organisation of the Museum can at first glance seem crowded and even chaotic. However, it is, in fact, purposeful, with each interior being a work of art in its own right. Soane was constantly arranging and rearranging the collection, not just to incorporate new acquisitions, but to enhance the objects’ poetic qualities through creative and inspiring juxtapositions. In the Model Room, for example, Soane placed models of his own works beneath models of the ancient ruins that inspired them.
In 1833, Soane negotiated a private Act of Parliament: to preserve his house and collection, exactly as it was arranged at the time of his death, in perpetuity – and to keep it open and free for inspiration and education. Upon his death in January 1837, a Board of Trustees took on the responsibility of upholding Soane’s wishes – as they continue to do today.
Today, this unique house attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year. We hope that they enter curious and leave inspired – as our Founder intended.
- [http:/wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=sloanguy&id=I019128 Sloan on RootsWEB] Entered by Seán Sloane Johnson. (Not found)Sloan on freepages.rootswebSloan-Blakely, p.284, Old Southern Bible Records: Transcriptions of Births, Deaths, and Marriages from Family Bibles, Chiefly of the 18th and 19th Centuries, Memory Lee Alldredge Lester Genealogical Publishing Com, 1974.
- Census 1800: Laurens Co. SC. pg17 [John 22001 22010]
- Census 1820: Laurens Co. SC. pg17 [John 011201 01301]
- Census 1830: Laurens Co. SC. pg277 [Jane 000020000 0000310020]
- "Marriages & Death notices from Charleston Observer" by Holcomb. [dpod]
- DAR Ancestor # A105284
- DAR #619422 & narrative of Ellen L.C. Logsdon
- U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
Thanks to Seán Sloane Johnson for starting this profile. Click the Changes tab for the details of contributions by Seán and others.