John Sloan (American, August 2, 1871–September 7, 1951), was a prominent figure in the Ashcan School of Realist artists. The Ashcan School focused on images of everyday life in urban areas. Sloan primarily used oil and acrylic paint in his works. He also created metal etches with acid. Some of Sloan's most famous works include The Hairdresser's Window, The Picnic Ground, and The Haymarket. All of these images depict scenes inspired by the town of Lock Haven, PA, where Sloan spent his childhood. His most famous pieces can be seen in the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. He focused his attention on the interactions of lower-class people when creating his works. Sloan had a mixture of formal training in a school setting and one-on-one training with a teacher to learn his skills.

Sloan lived in Lock Haven, PA, until 1904. He then moved to New York City and took a job to support his ailing father and sisters. Some of Sloan's first works were influenced by his role models Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528) and Rembrandt (Dutch, 1606–1669). He met a contemporary Realist artist, Robert Henri (American, 1865–1929) in 1892, and would later begin to learn from him. In addition, Sloan gained experience from his work as a draughtsman and learned formally at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

The subject matter of Sloan's paintings often led critics to associate him with the growing socialist movement in the Soviet Union and other parts of Europe, but he denied these allegations; he preferred to keep propaganda out of his work. Sloan was, however, a member of the Socialist party as of 1910. Most of Sloan's life was spent in Pennsylvania and New York City, but he also lived briefly in Gloucester, NY. Not all of Sloan's work depicted cities; he often spent summers in Santa Fe, NM, to practice depicting the natural desert scenery. Sloan's second wife, Helen Farr, is responsible for the preservation of his work. Sloan died in 1951 in New Hampshire.

Timeline

1871
Born August 2, 1871, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
1892
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
1905
Awarded an honorable mention, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh
1915
Bronze medal, the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exposition
1929
Elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters
1931
Carroll H. Beck Gold Medal for Vagis the Sculptor at the Pennsylvania Academy.
1942
First prize for the etching Fifth Avenue 1909 in the Artists for Victory Exhibition
1942
Elected to the Academy of Arts and Letters
1950
Awarded gold medal for painting by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
1951
Died September 7, 1951, Hanover, New Hampshire
He was known as an illustrator, painter and etcher. His works are represented in the New York Public Library; Newark, New Jersey Public Library; Cincinnati Museum of Art; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Exhibitions

May 3, 2003–1952
Retrospective Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art
May 3, 2003–1948
Retrospective Exhibition at the Kraushaar Galleries, NY
May 3, 2003–1946
Seventy-fifth Anniversary Exhibition, Dartmouth College
May 3, 2003–1945
Artists of the Philadelphia Press
May 3, 2003–1940
Society of American Etchers
May 3, 2003–1938
Retrospective Exhibition, MA
May 3, 2003–1931
Pennslyvania Academy of Fine Arts
May 3, 2003–1917
Kraushaar Galleries, NY
May 3, 2003–1917
Exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists, NY
May 3, 2003–1916
Mrs. H.P. Whitney's Studio
May 3, 2003–1915
Panama - Pacific Exposition, San Francisco
May 3, 2003–1913
The Armory Show, NY
May 3, 2003–1911
MacDowell Club exhibitions
May 3, 2003–1910
Exhibition of Independent Artists
May 3, 2003–1908
Macbeth Gallery, NY
May 3, 2003–1900
Pennsylvania Academy's Annual Exhibition