|Biography: ||Born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, John Sloan became one of the major early 20th- century figures in New York, pioneering the Social Realist movement with Robert Henri and his circle. He was also an illustrator and early eastern painter in the Southwest.|
Sloan moved with his family to Philadelphia where he attended Central High School and became a close friend of William Glackens. He worked for a print dealer and as illustrator for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Press. He also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy with Thomas Anshutz and met Robert Henri.
In 1904, he moved to New York and while continuing as an illustrator, became a part of Henri's circle of urban realists. He was an avid walker who continually strolled the streets for subject matter, especially exploring Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side. His work with great humanitarian bent flourished especially during this time because he was so committed emotionally to his subject matter.
He joined the Socialist Party in 1910 and espoused utopian ideas of equality but was never a political activist. However, from 1912 to 1916, he was art editor of the party's monthly periodical The Masses, and his skillful illustrations elevated the quality of the publication. The realities of World War I caused him, like so many, to become disenchanted with hard-line socialism.
He taught at the Art Students League, and his students included Reginald Marsh, Raphael Soyer, and Alexander Calder.
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