American, 1871 - 1951
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Robert Torchia, “John Sloan,” NGA Online Editions, https://purl.org/nga/collection/constituent/1881 (accessed July 29, 2021).
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John Sloan was born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, on August 2, 1871, the son of an amateur artist and occasional businessman. In 1876 he moved with his family to Philadelphia and in 1884 enrolled in Central High School, where
Sloan married Anna Maria Wall, known as Dolly, in 1901, and in 1904 they moved to New York City. He painted realistic scenes of Greenwich Village and the Tenderloin district and continued to work as a freelance illustrator. In 1908 he participated in the historic exhibition of The Eight at Macbeth Gallery. Sloan came to be regarded as a central figure in the Ashcan school and was noted for his painterly style and dark palette. In 1910 he helped organize the Exhibition of Independent Artists and also joined the Socialist Party. From 1912 to 1916 he was art director for the radical publication The Masses, and he remained committed to left-wing causes throughout his life. Sloan participated in the Armory Show in 1913, exhibiting two oils and five etchings. The postimpressionist and fauve works that he saw at the exhibition influenced his style and choice of subject matter, and while summering in Gloucester, Massachusetts, during the middle teens he painted colorful landscapes using a bright fauvist palette. Sloan professed admiration for Picasso and, while being careful to avoid imitating the new European styles, remained open to them.
Sloan began teaching at the Art Students League in 1914 and became a respected teacher; among his students were
September 29, 2016