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Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion
Artist:John Sloan , American, 1871 - 1951 Title:Maid Cutting Ice Date:1918 Medium:Oil with tempera and oil-varnish glazes on canvas Culture: American Dimensions:31 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 2 5/8 in. Credit Line:Gift of Sarah and Kenneth Harris in honor of Dr. & Mrs. James Semans Accession number:1976.70.1 Label Copy: John Sloan is best known as one of the founding members of the Ash Can School, whose painters focused on the rougher side of city life in low-income neighborhoods as subject matter. Maid Cutting Ice was created as part of an artistic challenge of sorts. In 1918, the sculptor, art patron and collector Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who later founded the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, invited twenty artists to come to her studio in New York City, provided them with painting supplies, food, whisky and cigars, and challenged them to paint the best painting they could in a period of five days. Sloan painted Maid Cutting Ice, which he said was something he had seen on the way to Whitney's studio. The results were hung in Mrs. Whitney's Indigenous Exhibition. Having been created in the studio, these works were considered to be "indigenous". The uneven surface of this painting can be explained by its later history. In 1948, three years before he died, Sloan wrote in his diary that he reworked the picture with tempera and oil-varnish glazes. Provenance: Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Lucas, Jr. (Dannenberg Galleries, NY). (Berry-Hill Galleries, NY). Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Harris, Charlotte, NC; gift 1976 to Duke University Museum of Art, now the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.


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