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Overview

This scene depicts a lively gathering of poets and artists at Petitpas', a French restaurant and boardinghouse in the Chelsea district of New York City. Shown from left to right around the table are literary critic Van Wyck Brooks; painter John Butler Yeats; poet Alan Seeger; the artist's wife, Dolly Sloan; Celestine Petipas (standing); fiction writer Robert Sneddon; miniature painter Eulabee Dix; John Sloan, the artist (corner); Fred King, the editor of Literary Digest; and, in the foreground, Vera Jelihovsky Johnston, wife of the Irish scholar Charles Johnston. Associated with the Ashcan School—a group of urban Realists who espoused the notion of "art for life's sake" instead of "art for art's sake"—John Sloan was well known for his scenes of everyday life. This lively representation of assembled artists and friends comes out of that context, as gatherings such as the one in the painting were common at the time. John Butler Yeats, Irish painter and father of poet William Butler Yeats, lived at Petipas' from 1909 until his death in 1922, and presided nightly at a table in the courtyard. By 1910, when Sloan began this painting, Yeats had become a significant mentor to the artist, especially in his detailed and methodical approach to portraiture. It is notable that Sloan chose to depict Yeats drawing a portrait rather than engaging in the lively conversation for which he was so well known. Sloan's rendering of his own likeness is also noteworthy as one of the most carefully executed and complete within the painting. These choices by Sloan invite a reading of this work as a tribute to the elder Yeats and his significant influence on Sloan.

The painting also functions as a commemoration of the year 1910 in general, a time of several professional accomplishments for Sloan, some of which were celebrated at this famed restaurant.

Inscription

lower right: John Sloan

Provenance

(C.W. Kraushaar Galleries, New York); purchased 1932 by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington; acquired 2014 by the National Gallery of Art.

Exhibition History
1916
Robert Henri, George Bellows, John Sloan, Arts Club of Chicago, November 1916.
1917
Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Etchings by John Sloan, C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, New York, 19 March - 7 April 1917, no. 8.
1918
113th Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 3 February - 24 March 1918, no. 462.
1921
John Sloan, George Luks and Augustus Vincent Tack, City Club, New York, March-April 1921.
1927
26th Annual International Exhibition of Paintings, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 13 October - 4 December 1927, no. 77.
1927
Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings, Etchings and Lithographs by John Sloan, C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, New York, 15 February - 5 March 1927, no. 4.
1928
The Twenty-sixth Annual International Exhibition of Paintings Organized by the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn Museum, 9 January - 19 February 1928, no. 77.
1932
John Sloan, Van Deering Perrine and Helen M. Turner, Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, October 1932.
1932
Thirteenth Exhibition of Contemporary American Oils, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 4 December 1932 - 15 January 1933, no. 133.
1934
A Survey of American Painting, Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 January - 28 February 1934, no. 54.
1937
New York Realists 1900-1914, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 9 February - 5 March 1937, no. 77.
1938
John Sloan: Retrospective Exhibition, Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, 1938, no. 13.
1942
20th Century Portraits, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 9 December 1942 - 24 January 1943, unnumbered checklist.
1945
Artists of the Philadelphia Press: William Glackens, George Luks, Everett Shinn, John Sloan, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 14 October - 18 November 1945, no. 58, repro.
1952
John Sloan, 1871-1951, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art, 1952, no. 26.
1956
Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, Walt Kuhn, John Sloan, Arts Club of Chicago, 8 May - 15 June 1956, no. 37.
1957
Portraiture: The 19th and 20th Centuries, Munson-Williams-Procter Institute, Utica; Baltimore Museum of Art; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 1957, no. 40.
1958
Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings from Previous Internationals, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 5 December 1958 - 8 February 1959, no. 43.
1962
The Art of John Sloan 1871-1951, Walker Art Museum, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, 20 January - 28 February 1962, no. 17.
1966
Past and Present: 250 Years of American Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 15 April - 30 September 1966, unpublished checklist.
1971
John Sloan: 1871-1951, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens; M.H. De Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, 1971-1972, no. 71.
1972
Conservation in the Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 15 September - 22 October 1972, unpublished checklist.
1976
Corcoran [The American Genius], Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 24 January - 4 April 1976, no checklist.
1982
Japanese Artists Who Studied in the USA and the American Scene, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, 1982, no. 71.
1985
Henri's Circle, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 20 April - 16 June 1985, unnumbered checklist.
1985
John Sloan: Painter of the American Scene, Queens Museum, Flushing, 5 October - 17 November 1985, no. 3.
1985
Strokes of Genius, Dulin Gallery of Art, Knoxville, 30 March - 28 April 1985, no. 35.
1988
John Sloan: Spectator of Life, IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Columbus Museum of Art; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, 1988, no. 51.
1996
Gaelic Gotham: A History of the Irish in New York, Museum of the City of New York, 13 March - 27 October 1996.
1998
The Forty-fifth Biennial: The Corcoran Collects, Corcoran Gallery of Art, 17 July - 29 September 1998, unnumbered checklist.
2003
The Impressionist Tradition in America, Corcoran Gallery of Art, 19 July 2003 - 18 October 2004, unpublished checklist.
2004
Figuratively Speaking: The Human Form in American Art, 1770-1950, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 20 November 2004 - 7 August 2005, unpublished checklist.
2005
Encouraging American Genius: Master Paintings from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New Yprl; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte; John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, 2005-2007, checklist no. 67.
2007
Life's Pleasures: The Ashcan Artists' Brush with Leisure, 1895-1925, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; New-York Historical Society; Detroit Institute of Arts, 2007-2008, no. 11.
2009
American Paintings from the Collection, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 6 June - 18 October 2009, unpublished checklist.
2013
American Journeys: Visions of Place, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 21 September 2013 - 28 September 2014, unpublished checklist.
Bibliography
2011
Napolitano, Laura Groves. "John Sloan, Yeats at Petitpas'." In Corcoran Gallery of Art: American Paintings to 1945. Edited by Sarah Cash. Washington, 2011: 200-201, 277, repro.