John Sloan

 Sloan, John French (1871-1951) American radical artist, realist painter, and illustrator. His wife Anna M. Wall, nicknamed Dolly because of her small stature, had become increasingly involved in the socialist movement during this time. The Sloans assisted the benefit banquet at Hotel Brevoort in support of EG after her arrest for birth control advocacy in 1916, and Dolly helped organize the celebration on 5 May at Carnegie Hall for EG’s release from jail. The Sloans were on the New York Committee of the International Workers Defense League to free Tom Mooney. Dolly was also the treasurer of The American Legal Defense League in 1917. Sloan contributed to Spawn, the Pagan, and the Dial. After a series of contentions that began in March 1916 regarding policy, editorship, and the role of artwork within Masses, Sloan resigned from his position as art editor and became inactive in the Socialist Party. In the July 1916 issue Alice Beach Winter, Charles A. Winter, Glenn O. Coleman, Stuart Davis, Maurice Becker, and Robert Carlton Brown were no longer listed as contributing editors for Masses. Sloan began to invest nearly all of his time teaching at the Art Students League in New York City. He was opposed to military preparedness and attended Helen Keller’s lecture on the topic in early 1917. In 1917 Sloan began to put much of his energy into the Society of Independent Artists, which endeavored to promote the works of Greenwich Village contemporaries and other artists to art connoisseurs; the Society held annual shows in which any artist who paid an entry fee could exhibit their work. In 1918, Sloan was elected President of the Society, and maintained the position for the rest of his life. The Sloans were brought under the political spotlight when Masses were put on trial for violating the Espionage Act in 1918. They were not themselves indicted, but Dolly was called to testify about the nature of the publication. After the trial ended the Sloans purchased a home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sloan contributed to the Liberator, was a brief member of the editorial board of New Masses and left in October 1926.

Before this time, Sloan’s artwork was featured in The Call (under the pen name “Josh Nolan”), the Dial, Masses, Progressive Women, Coming Nation, Appeal to Reason, Il Proletario, The Red Portfolio: Cartoons for Socialism (Girard, Kansas: Coming Nation, 1913), and George Kirkpatrick’s War-What For? (West La Fayette, Ohio: The Author, 1910).


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