One of "The Eight"—a major group in the history of American painting—John Sloan was also an illustrator and cartoonist. Sloan kept an almost daily diary for eight years, for the most part to entertain his first wife, Dolly. Sloan's second wife and widow, Helen Fan Sloan, turned over the diaries and his letters, as well as notes and drawings to Bruce St. John of the Delaware Art Center, which houses the Sloan collection.
John Sloan was interested in every social issue that went on around him: the people across the street, the people in the parks, and the policies of his country. He and Dolly entertained almost every night, though they were so poor that often the only dish was spaghetti, and their guests included Robert Henri (Sloan's mentor) and Walt Kuhn, Walter Pach, Rollin Kirby, Stuart Davis (and his father), Alexander Calder (and his father), Rockwell Kent, John Butler Yeats, William Glackens, and George Luks.
Even if John Sloan had not been such an important figure in the American art world, these diaries would be splendid reading: they reveal a perceptive man and the city that fascinated him during one of its most interesting epochs. The editor writes that Sloan "was a direct and honest man, not afraid of expressing his opinions." This fascinating, unique, first-person view of New York City is a masterpiece. This edition includes a new introduction by Herbert I. London, providing insight into the social and political vision that animated Sloan's art.