1871 - 1951
A native of Pennsylvania, John Sloan moved to New York City in 1904 and joined in with a group of artists who came to be known as The Eight. Later, the group would be referred to as The Ashcan School because of their interest in depicting everyday scenes including the seamier sides of city life. During the summer of 1914, Sloan sought refuge from the heat of New York in Gloucester, renting a small red cottage at the head of Rocky Neck. He would return to the "little red cottage" for four more summers, drawing a circle of other artists around him including Stuart Davis, Agnes M. Richmond and Charles Allan Winter and his wife Alice Beach Winter, before moving on to Santa Fe.
At the age of forty I realized that I needed some new way to keep at work. I saw that the European artists kept themselves going, with any kind of subject, landscape or portrait or still life (in any style). This method produces more work, more 'studies;' but it also leads to discovery of new motivations. I made up my mind to save enough money to take a few months off to paint landscapes in Gloucester.
After seeing the Armory Show in New York City in 1913, John Sloan began looking for a new painting environment. He later recalled: "My friend Charles Winter encouraged me to spend some time in Gloucester where we rented a little red cottage (in 1914)." Sloan returned to Gloucester and to the red cottage for four subsequent summers. The house, which still stands today on East Main Street near the entrance to Rocky Neck, quickly became a magnet for other artists including Stuart Davis, Paul Cornoyer, Agnes M. Richmond, and Paul Tietjens.
In 2015 the Museum mounted an exhibition of Sloan's landscape paintings done during the summers Sloan spent in Gloucester from 1914 to 1918. Gloucester Days, included 4 paintings from the Museum's collection along with 35 other works from lenders, and was on view here from July 11 to November 29, 2015.
The Cape Ann Museum has five paintings by Sloan in its collection: Old Cone (Uncle Sam) (1914), Red Warehouses at Gloucester (1914), Sunflowers on Rocky Neck (1914), Glare on the Bay (c. 1914) and Dogtown, Ruined Blue Fences (1916).