JOHN SLOAN, American

(1871-1951)

John Sloan loved ordinary people; as a member of the Ashcan School in the early twentieth century, he painted and sketched hundreds of them in the rhythms of private life – hanging out the wash, drying their hair or sleeping on rooftops during a summer’s night in New York City.

Sloan attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1892 to study under Thomas Anshutz.  That same year he met Robert Henri who had a tremendous impact on his career.  Sloan became an active American realist and began painting dark, warm, monochromatic scenes of city life, using the color scheme of Franz Hals.  In 1904, Sloan settled in New York City, developing skills as an etcher.  His vignettes of backyards, restaurants and parks on Fifth Avenue and in the tenderloin district were the first of their kind in this country.

After the showing by The Eight, Sloan adopted a new color theory and his palette brightened.  He attained an appreciation for images of the West and made summer painting trips to Santa Fe.  Throughout his life, Sloan approached numerous subjects and various artistic styles. All of these interests culminated toward the end of his life when he published a treatise on his field entitled Gist of Art.