John Sloan, McSorley’s Bar, 1912, oil on canvas, 26” x 32”, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Image Courtesy of 1000 Museums. © 2013 . All rights reserved.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

You can still visit McSorley’s Bar (15 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003) and it looks very similar to the way it did just over 100 years ago when John Sloan, a founding member of The Eight (also known as The Ashcan School), created this image of it.

The everyday subject from urban life is typical in paintings by John Sloan, who spent most of his career living and working in New York City.  He and his colleagues were dedicated to presenting working class people in their natural environment.  The colors that Henri used – the palette of dark browns and ochers – comes directly from his Dutch Old Master heroes Frans Hals and Rembrandt who painted drinkers and lower classes during the Dutch Golden Age.