John Sloan in Philadelphia and New York

The Delaware Art Museum presents John Sloan in Philadelphia and New York, a focused exhibition celebrating the return of several of Sloan’s works to the Museum following a tour, on view February 21, 2009 – September 20, 2009.

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The Delaware Art Museum presents John Sloan in Philadelphia and New York, a focused exhibition celebrating the return of several of Sloan’s works to the Museum following a tour, on view February 21, 2009 – September 20, 2009. Approximately two-dozen paintings and etchings are featured in this show, including some pieces that were part of the traveling exhibition Seeing the City: Sloan’s New York, which was organized by the Delaware Art Museum and on tour in 2008.

John Sloan (1871-1951) made his hometown of Philadelphia the subject of many of his pieces before moving to New York in 1904. His images of pedestrians and public places helped define New York City in the popular imagination. John Sloan in Philadelphia and New York examines works created between 1892 and 1928, allowing visitors to see the evolution of Sloan’s vision of city life.

In February of 1908 John Sloan vaulted into the limelight with his paintings of “the everyday New York, the ever changing New York, the neighborhood New York.” One of eight American painters showing his work in a controversial exhibition at Macbeth Galleries, Sloan received both praise and scathing criticism for his pictures of everyday life in the streets, parks, and apartment buildings of lower Manhattan. Although he had lived in New York for less than four years, Sloan’s street-level vision of city life had been evolving—in illustrations, prints, and paintings—for more than a decade.

Raised in Philadelphia, Sloan began working as a newspaper illustrator for the Philadelphia Inquirer in the 1890s. He began to take classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and befriended fellow illustrators William Glackens, George Luks, and Everett Shinn. Under the influence of Robert Henri, these young illustrators began to paint what they knew best, the city and people around them. For Sloan this meant a narrow band of Center City, stretching from the Schuylkill to the Delaware River, between Market and Cypress Streets. Sloan found most of his subjects within a few blocks of his studio on Walnut Street.

When he moved to New York, Sloan continued to take subjects from the streets and parks of his neighborhoods in Chelsea and Greenwich Village. When he exhibited his city paintings, alongside his friends from Philadelphia, in 1908, Sloan asserted that ordinary urban encounters were a legitimate subject for American art.

Exhibition-Related Lecture

· John Sloan: Becoming an Artist

Saturday, April 25, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Free with Museum admission

Dr. Michael Lobel, Associate Professor of Art History, SUNY, Purchase College, will closely analyze some of John Sloan’s best-known imagery and consider it in the context of Sloan’s lesser-known commercial illustrations in order to offer a revised view of his career as an artist.

Delaware Art Museum
www.delart.org