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Noted author and artist Eric Sloane was born February 27, 1905 as Everard Jean Hinrichs. Sloane realized his artistic talent at an early age, briefly studying at the Art Students League in New York, as well as Yale University’s School of Art. In 1925, the young artist reportedly took the family car and traveled across the United States to Taos, New Mexico painting signs and store windows for a living. Eventually, Sloane would create murals and paint letters and images on the fuselage of airplanes.
Sloane’s personal interest in meteorology profoundly affected his artistic career and life. After his westward journey, Sloan dedicated himself to the study of weather and its effects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, resulting in a new genre of works, which the artist termed “cloudscapes.” Sloan’s newly found knowledge also led to the writing and publication of books that addressed art and the atmosphere including Skies and the Artist from 1951. In addition, the artist collected antique tools and demonstrated an inclination towards the weathered surfaces found on old New England Barns. Similar in style to the American Realist, Andrew Wyeth, Sloane’s landscapes with barns emit a feeling of nostalgia that ranges from quiet contemplation to melancholia. Sloane confirmed his status as a painter of Old New England and a collector at his death in 1985, donating his antique tools to the Eric Sloane Museum of Early American Tools in Kent, Connecticut. Today, his works are featured at the Stanley-Sloane Museum, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma.
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Zellman, Michael David. 300 Years of American Art. Secaucus: Wellfleet Press, 1987.