John Sloan’s Art Nouveau

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John Sloan (1871–1951) was a member of the storied “Philadelphia Five,” with William Glackens, George Luks, Everett Shinn and Robert Henri. Sloan acknowledged, “It was Robert Henri who set me up to painting seriously; without his inspiring friendship and guidance I probably might never have thought of it at all.”

He was also one of the founders of the Ashcan school and a member of the group of gritty urban painters known as The Eight. He was one of the contributors and served as art editor of The Masses in New York City.

Before moving to New York, in 1892 he worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer for 18 years and then later in the art department at the Philadelphia Press. He called his newspaper work his “poster style” and while he often referred to it as “hack work,” Sloan introduced the Art Nouveau style to American mass media. His work for The Masses was more gritty and like his paintings, they exposed the underside of life.

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John Sloan
John Sloan
John Sloan
John Sloan
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Additional ResourceIf you love reading about artists, you won’t want to miss this year’s New Visual Artist Issue. Learn more about 20 up-and-coming artists, read Steven Heller’s interview with Timothy Goodman and Heller’s Evolution column that looks at rabbits and design. Get your copy today.