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Collection Spotlight

John Sloan, Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair

John Sloan
Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair, 1912
oil on canvas
museum purchase

John Sloan described his 1912 painting, Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair, as “another of the human comedies which were regularly staged for my enjoyment by the humble roof-top players of Cornelia Street.” Sloan’s penchant for depicting the urban life of New York City was one he shared with fellow artists, William Glackens, Everett Shinn, and George Luks, all of whom started their careers as newspaper artists in Philadelphia. It was there that they studied with Robert Henri who urged them to depict everyday life as they experienced it directly and without idealization. This focus led critics to dub these artists the Ashcan Painters.

Based on observations made on walks through the city or spied through his Greenwich Village apartment windows which he committed to memory or caught in occasional quick sketches, Sloan’s vibrant, energized scenes were celebrations of the inhabitants and everyday events of his adopted New York City.

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