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John Sloan
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Lock Haven PA
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Hanover NH
Etcher, illustrator, painter, teacher; co-founder of The Eight (with Robert Henri); reputation during his lifetime peaked in 1920's as did his influence as a teacher; students included Peggy Bacon, Alexander Calder, Reginald Marsh and David Smith. Born August 2, 1871 Lock Haven, Pennsylvania; died September 7,1951 Hanover, New Hampshire; 1884 entered Central High School, Philadelphia in same class as William Glackens and Albert C. Barnes; 1888 left high school to help support his family; started employment with Porter and Coates, booksellers and fine print dealers; began copying prints and designing notecards; taught himself to etch by studying Philip G. Hamerton's "The Etcher's Handbook"; 1890 worked for A. Edward Newton, designing novelties, calendars, making etchings; night freehand drawing class at Spring Garden Institute; 1891 briefly became freelance commercial artist; 1892 worked in art department of Philadelphia "Inquirer"; studied at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Anshutz; friends with Luks, Glackens, Shinn; met Robert Henri; 1893 influenced by Japanese brush work technique of Beisen Kubota; 1894 left Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; gained some recognition as illustrator; 1895 employed at Philadelphia "Press"; 1896 began two murals at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; 1900 illustrated Stephen Crane's "Great Battles of the World"; exhibited paintings at Chicago Art Institute and Carnegie Institue, Pittsburgh; 1901 married Anna M. (Dolly) Wall; 1902 illustrated deluxe edition of French novelist Charles Paul de Kock's novels; 1903 critical recognition for de Kock illustrations; 1904 moved to New York, became freelance illustrator (his major source of income until 1916 when he began teaching at Art Students League); exhibited with Henri Group at National Arts Club; 1905 produced eight of the ten New York City Life set of etchings; 1906 began his diary (continued until 1913—record of New York intellectual and social life); four of New York City Life etchings (including "Turning Out the Light") rejected as "too vulgar" by American Water Color Exhibition; "Dust Storm, Fifth Avenue" exhibited at National Academy of Design; 1907 painted "The Wake of the Ferry"; 1908 exhibition of The Eight at Macbeth Gallery; 1910 joined Socialist Party; treasurer and major organizer of Exhibition of Independent Artists; major sale of special proofs to John Quinn (repurchased by Sloan in 1926 after Quinn's death); unsuccessful Socialist Party candidate for New York State Assembly; 1912 Acting Art Editor of "The Masses" (active contributor for about a year); Dolly Sloan Business Manager and Treasurer; 1913 helped hang International Exhibition of Modern Art (Armory Show), which included two of his paintings and five etchings; first sale of a painting (to Dr. Albert C. Barnes); 1916 first one-man exhibit at Mrs. H. P. Whitney's studio; resigned from "The Masses" and from Socialist Party; began teaching at Art Students League (would continue until 1938—income from teaching would lessen dependence upon illustration); began life-long association with Kraushaar Gallery; 1917 first one-man exhibit at Kraushaar's; 1918 became president of Society of Independent Artists (would continue for life); 1919 trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico (would return almost every summer and would subsequently produce both prints and paintings on Southwest subjects); 1921 first major museum sale when "Dust Storm, Fifth Avenue" purchased by Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1925 produced "Snowstorm in the Village"; 1931-1933 produced series of etchings of nudes and etching portrait of Robert Henri; 1932 resigned as President of Art Student's League after disagreement with Board; briefly at Archipenko's Ecole d'Art; 1933 head of George Luks school; 1935 returned to Art Students League; 1936 exhibition of one hundred etchings at Whitney Museum; 1937 etching retrospective at Kraushaar's; 1939 publication of "Gist of Art"; executed Treasury Department mural for Bronxville, N.Y. Post Office; 1942 elected to Academy of Arts and Letters; 1943 death of Dolly Sloan; 1944 married his former student Helen Farr; 1945 Moody lecture and exhibition of etchings at Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago; 1946 seventy-fifth Anniversary Exhibition, Dartmouth College; 1950 Gold Medal for painting, American Academy of Arts and Letters; elected, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 1951 died following surgery September 7; 1952 Retrospective Exhibition at Whitney Museum of American Art; 1971 Centennial Anniversary Exhibition at National Gallery of Art, Washington. Sources: 1. Morse, Peter. John Sloan’s Prints. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Etchings, Lithographs, and Posters. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1969. 2. Hawkes, Elizabeth H. John Sloan’s Illustrations. Wilmington: Delaware Art Museum, 1993. 3. John Sloan New York Etchings (1905-1949). Ed. Helen Farr Sloan. New York: Dover Publications, 1978. 4. Scott, David. John Sloan. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1975. 5. Loughery, John. John Sloan: Painter and Rebel. New York: H. Holt, 1995. cms/07.28.97v.2.0