American painter and etcher, John French Sloan was born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania in 1871. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Sloan worked as an illustrator for periodicals and newspapers in Philadelphia and New York City. From 1914 to 1938 Sloan was an instructor at the Art Students League (except for the year 1930-1931 when he served as the League’s president). Sloan was a member of “The Eight”, a short-lived group of American artists who were later referred to as Ashcan artists because of their harshly realistic depictions of city life.
In 1999 Sloan was persuaded by fellow-artist, Randall Davey to forsake Gloucester, Massachusetts for Santa Fe. Unlike some of his contemporaries in New Mexico, Sloan refused to use romanticized views of the Indian and Mexican culture in his works. During the 1930s he served as the President of the Exposition of Indian Tribal Arts and lobbied the Society of Independent Artists to include works by Native Americans in their exhibitions.