Admission is always free Directions

Open today: 10:00 to 5:00


The City from Greenwich Village is a lyrical celebration of the vitality and excitement of life in lower Manhattan. Looking south over Sixth Avenue from the artist's Washington Place studio on a rainy winter evening, electric light merges with moonlight, casting an evocative golden glow over the city. At the far left, New York's skyscrapers seem to hover over the city like a shimmering celestial vision. Sloan's painting conveys a nostalgic, romanticized mood, one that contrasts strongly with the scenes of tenement life, teeming city streets, and desolate back alleys that he and fellow members of the "Ash Can School" had produced during the first decade of the century.

The artist's ambiguous reference to "moonshine" on the billboard in the left foreground both documents the city's commercialization and lends a poetic aura to the scene. This urban imagery may be seen as a precursor to American art of the 1960s, when Pop artists appropriated advertising motifs and Photo-realists immortalized the architectural richness of New York.


lower left: John Sloan


The artist [1871-1951]; his estate;[1] gift 1970 to NGA.

Exhibition History
Sixth Annual Exhibition of The Society of Independent Artists, Waldorf Astoria, New York, March-April 1922, no. 701, as The City from Greenwich.
Twenty-First Annual International Exhibition of Paintings, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, April-June 1922, no. 108, as The City, from Greenwich.
Baltimore Charcoal Club, 1923.
Tenth Annual Exhibition of Paintings by American Artists, Detroit Institute of Art, 1924, no. 30.
First Pan-American Exhibition of Oil Paintings, Los Angeles Museum, 1925-1926.
Thirty-Eighth Annual Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago, 1925, no. 200, as New York from Greenwich Village.
Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition: Paintings, Sculpture and Prints in the Department of Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, June-December 1926, no. 280.
The Tenth Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Oil Paintings, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, April-May 1926, no. 259, as The City from Greenwich.
Grand Central Gallery, New York, 1932.[1]
John Sloan, Montross Gallery, New York, 1934, no. 14.
John Sloan: Retrospective Exhibition, Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, 1938, no. 18, repro.
46th Annual Exhibition, Nebraska Art Association, Lincoln, March-April 1939, no. 39.
The Forty-Sixth Annual Exhibition of American Art, Cincinnati Art Museum, October-November 1939, no. 132.
John Sloan, Art Department, University of Missouri, Columbia, 1940.
Oil Paintings by John Sloan, Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire, January 1940.
Development of an American Style, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 1941.
Fort Worth Art Association, March 1941.
Living American Painters, John Herron Art Museum, Indianapolis, February 1943, no. 53.
Romantic Painting in America, Museum of Modern Art, New York, followed by other venues as a traveling exhibition, 1943-1945, no. 184, repro.
Artists of the Philadelphia Press: William Glackens, George Luks, Everett Shinn, John Sloan, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1945, no. 63.
John Sloan: Painting and Prints. Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Retrospective, Carpenter Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1946, no. 12.
John Sloan Paintings, Dayton Art Institute, April 1948.
John Sloan: Retrospective Exhibition, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, February 1948, no. 20, repro.
The Turn of the Century: American Artists 1890-1920, Des Moines Art Center, 1949, unnumbered catalogue.
John Sloan 1871-1951, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, 1952, no. 52, repro.
Oil Paintings by John Sloan, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, November-December 1961, no. 7.
The Life and Times of John Sloan, Delaware Art Center, Wilmington, September-October 1961, no. 29, repro.
The Art of John Sloan 1871-1951, Walker Art Museum, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1962, no. 46, repro.
John Sloan 1871-1951, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens; M.H. DeYoung Memorial Museum, San Francisco; City Art Museum of St. Louis; Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Ohio; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1971-1972, no. 135, repro.
John Sloan: Paintings, Prints, Drawings, traveling exhibition organized by Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, 6 venues, 1981-1983, no. 13, repro. (shown only in Hanover).
The Railroad in the American Landscape: 1850-1950, Wellesley College Museum, Wellesley, Massachusetts, 1981, no. 53, repro.
Japanese Artists Who Studied in [the] U.S.A. and The American Scene, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, 1982, no. 78, color repro.
Museo de los Museos: arte universal a través de los tiempos, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, 1984, no. 42, repro.
Night Lights: 19th and 20th Century American Nocturne Paintings, The Taft Museum, Cincinnati, 1985, unnumbered catalogue, repro.
John Sloan: Spectator of Life, IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, 1988, no. 97, repro.
Seeing the City: Sloan's New York, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania; David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; Reynolda House, Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, 2007-2009, unnumbered catalogue, fig. 52.
Exhibition History Notes

[1] According to the artist's records, the painting was "briefly" exhibited at the Grand Central Gallery; see the letter of 12 January 1970 from the artist's widow, Helen Sloan, to John Bullard of the NGA, in NGA curatorial files.

Scott, David W. "The City from Greenwich Village." Studies in the History of Art 4 (1971-1972): 106-119, color repro.
Scott, David W. John Sloan. New York, 1975: 162, color pl. 28.
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 223, repro.
Simms, Patterson. John Sloan: A Concentration of Works from the Permanent Collection of the Whitney Museum of Art. New York, 1980: 20-21, repro.
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980: 17, no. 55, color repro.
Williams, William James. A Heritage of American Paintings from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1981: 209, repro. 210-211, color repro. 224.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 572, no. 876, color repro.
Catchpole, Hubert R. “The Cover.” Journal of the American Medical Association 257 (24 April 1987): 2125, cover repro.
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. Rev. ed. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1988: 170, no. 62, color repro.
Elzea, Rowland. John Sloan’s Oil Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné. 2 vols. Newark, 1991: 257-258, repro.
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 337, repro.
National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 250, repro.
Dougherty, James. Walt Whitman and the Citizen's Eye. Baton Rouge, 1993: 264-266, fig. 12.
Loughery John. John Sloan: Painter and Rebel. New York, 1995: 261-262.
Lamia, Stephen. “Night." In Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted in Works of Art. Edited by Helene E. Roberts. 2 vols. Chicago, 1998: 2:657.
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 404, no. 334, color repro.