American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Artist Name:       Eric Sloane
Artist Dates:       1905-1985      
Painting Title:     
Raised Barn, Cornwall
Painting Date:     Undated
Medium:             Oil on Masonite      
Signed Lower Left
Provenance:        Private Collection
Condition:           Excellent     
Size Unframed:    
23 x 31
Size Framed:       28 x 37     
Frame Condition:
Original Sloane Barn Bd
Artist Best Price:  $60,000
Offered At:         CALL
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Curator's Comments: Sloane was as American as his name, which took the eric out of the
center of the very name of our nation--as in Am
erica. His last name came from reverence for his
first great master, John Sloan, the colleague of Henri and Glackens. His focus was as fundamental
as his choice of name: He painted heaven and earth only. Sloane sold one of his earliest paintings
to Amelia Earhardt, the aviatrix, and ended his career with the giant-size mural of the sky on the
wall of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. His other love was the farmland of New England and
its barns, which he also celebrated in painting after painting. And Sloane was the author of
numerous books on barns and their construction. His private collection of early American hand
tools is now in the Sloane Stanley Museum in Connecticut. Eric Sloane was born Everard Jean
Hinrichs in New York City on February 27, 1905. His interest in art developed from early
friendship with the famous type-face designer Frederic Gaudy, and Sloane was also connected to
the aviation pioneers flying out of Roosevelt Field, Long Island. Many of those flyers insisted he
paint the identifying marking on their planes. In exchange for teaching him to paint, Wiley Post
himself, taught the young Hinrichs to fly. After his first flight, the young man fell in love with he
clouds that would become central to his work for the rest of his life.
Sloane, after a falling out with his family, ran away at age fourteen to become an itinerant sign
painter. He worked his way across America, painting signs on barns, buildings and stores, all the
time gathering images of a country in expansion. One of his most notable stays was with the Taos
Pueblo Indian Tribe, just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In Taos, Sloane experienced life in a true
artist's colony, working among painters such as Leon Gaspard and the members of Taos Society of
Artists. He added his own footnote to their rich history by introducing to them his pioneer method
of painting on masonite. Much later, in  1975, Sloane built a home in La Tierra near Santa Fe, New
Mexico, called "Las Nuves" (The Clouds) where he continued to work and visit in his last years.
Sloane went onto study at the Art Students League in New York, where he met his mentor. He also
logged important time at Yale’s School of Fine and Applied Art in the early thirties. Indeed, it
was later, while living at the Yale Club in New York during the Depression that he gave our
painting to the owner of a nearby sandwich shop (delicatessen) to settle his bill. It was then passed
on in one family until our acquisition.

Sloane had by then fallen in love with the rural agrarian architecture of his beloved New England.
Making the barn one of his two central symbols, along with the clouds, which are present here too.
As we see the barn, it becomes a dark place of fruition in contrast to the powerful sky-god clouds.
It is the realm of Proserpine, even to its stored pumpkins and its curved entryway. Technically
Sloane labeled this style of construction in his An Age of Barns, a raised barn, and it is similar to
an illustration in that work. Below are the dark, close and warm horse stalls, places of passage. The
barn is a symbol of the human harvest, as is Sloane's masterful painting itself. We are very proud
to own it. We also want to point to the delicacy of the shadows in this work, especially that cast by
the adjoining trees on the barn itself, for an extremely floating tracery effect. Also this early work
escapes the formulaic. The skies retain the clouds that later disappear into  a uniform midnight
blue, and the straw-grass front border has yet to enter Sloane's oeuvre. Our image doesn't do this
work justice.

While restoring a Connecticut farmhouse in the early 1950's, Sloane began to identify with the
Early American settlers. He first moved to the Candlewood Lake area, then to Merryall, CT near
New Milford, and in 1956, he moved to Warren, where he kept a home until 1985. At this time he  
discovered Noah Blake's diary, an original account of New England farm life in 1805. With Sloane's
unique illustrations and commentary the diary became the framework for Sloane's most successful
book, "Diary of an Early American Boy: Noah Blake 1805."In his seminal Americana masterpiece,
"Spirits of '76," he published a famous distillation of his philosophy, which he called a Declaration
of Self Dependence. John Sloan and Robert Henri would have loved this artistic preamble, a
harbinger calling for a renewed concept of personal responsibility in our time. Shortly before the
release of his last book, "Eighty," on his way to meet his wife for lunch, Eric Sloane died instantly
of a heart attack in New York, on March 5th, 1985, on the steps of the Plaza Hotel. He is buried in
Kent, Connecticut.