The Woman's Page
John Sloan ( American, 1871 - 1951 )
Part of his thirteen etching series New York City Life, The Women’s Page embodies John French Sloan’s method of observing and documenting the routine of New York at the turn of the century. This scene, likely one Sloan witnessed from an open window, sketched, and later etched, depicts a woman lounging in a rocking chair in her disheveled apartment. Hair pinned atop her head, wearing a nightgown or slip—certainly not presentable for public consumption—the woman’s eyes are fixated on the newspaper in her hands, which read: “A Page for Women,” a section likely addressing the social and fashion concerns of the modern woman, including tips on dress and housekeeping. Here, Sloan draws a stark juxtaposition between the woman depicted in the newspaper and the woman he illustrates. While the printed woman wears a hat atop her tidy hair and a modest, yet fashionable dress, the woman seated at home is completely unkempt. She ignores her child, neglects the laundry and sits idly, absorbed in her reading. As of Sloan’s etchings from his controversial, and critically received New York City Life series, this impression encompasses a unique portion of the artist’s oeuvre executed immediately upon his arrival to New York. Unaccustomed to the city, through this series we accompany Sloan through his often uncomfortable, and voyeuristic discovery of the city.