John French Sloan

As one of the leading proponents of the anti-academic "social realist" movement, John Sloan is considered one of the most important American artists of the early 20th century. Born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania and grew up in Philadelphia.(

John French Sloan (Aug. 2, 1871-Sept. 7, 1951), a 20th-century painter and etcher and one of the founders of the Ashcan school of American art. He was also a member of the group known as The Eight. Best known for his urban genre scenes and ability to capture the essence of neighborhood life in New York City, often observed through his Chelsea studio window. Sloan has been called "the premier artist of the Ashcan School who painted the inexhaustible energy and life of New York City during the first decades of the 20th century" and an "early 20th-century realist painter who embraced the principles of Socialism and placed his artistic talents at the service of those beliefs."

....Beginning in 1914, Sloan taught at the Art Students League, where for the next 18 years he became a charismatic if eccentric teacher. Sloan also taught briefly at the George Luks Art School. His students respected him for his practical knowledge and integrity, but feared his caustic tongue; as a well-known painter who had nonetheless sold very few paintings, he advised his students, "I have nothing to teach you that will help you to make a living." He disdained careerism among artists and urged his pupils to find joy in the creative process alone.

....As someone who painted city crowds and tenement rooms, shop girls and streetwalkers, charwomen and hairdressers, John Sloan is one of the artists most closely identified with the Ashcan School. Yet it was a term Sloan despised. He came to feel that it homogenized too many different painters, concentrated viewers' attention on content rather than style, and presupposed a muckraking...

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