Born: Lock Haven, Pennsylvania 1871
Died: Hanover, New Hamphire 1951
Very important “Ashcan School” painter, graphic artist, illustrator, teacher, author
As a teenage, Sloan worked for a dealer in old-master prints and copied all the illustrations in a dictionary. He studied as Spring Garden Institute in Philadelphia, then in 1892 at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts with Anshutz and Henri whose studio was the social hub for his “black gang,” Glackens, Sloan, Luks, and Shinn, the fellow artist-reporters on the Philadelphia Press. Sloan sketched news events on the spot, making the record a photograph now provides. Henri encouraged Sloan to paint the sketches, with spontaneity: Henri and Sloan worked so long on his paintings, that his name was the past tense of slow. By 1898, Sloan was working for a New York City newspaper. By 1904, all five were in New York City. When the National Academy of Design slighted Henri in 1907, they with Davies, Lawson, and Prendergast became The Eight to hold their own exhibit. Sloan did not sell a painting. As a practicing Socialist he ranged the city, particularly Coney Island, Union Square, and the Bowery, to capture slices of life with economy and candor. He was the only member of The Eight who had not studied in Europe but he taught at the Art Students League 1914-26 and 1935-37. His painting philosophy is set forth in his “Gist of Art” published in 1939.
In 1919, Randall Davey persuaded Sloan to forsake Gloucester, Massachusetts for a summer in Santa Fe. Sloan bought an adobe in 1920 for occupancy most of his remaining summers. In New Mexico, Sloan was a lion, not a radical. His work was warm, “but he could never seem to take more than a visiting spectator’s viewpoint when painting the Indian.”
Resource: SAMUELS’ Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST,
Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985, Castle Publishing