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Michael Eric Lobel
Purchase College, SUNY (Purchase, NY 10577-1402)
Becoming an Artist: John Sloan, the Ashcan School, and Popular Illustration

My project analyzes the work of one artist, John Sloan, as a way to examine broader historical currents at the turn of the 20th century. The work of Sloan and his colleagues, who are known collectively as the Ashcan School, is considered in the context of a broader shift in which new printing technologies and distribution networks fundamentally altered the work of newspaper illustrators. My study contributes to the existing scholarly literature by more fully examining the range of Sloan's work in the field of popular illustration, including newspaper puzzles and editorial cartoons. This, in turn, offers new insight into the political alignments of Ashcan art, which was in part a response to changing social conditions in New York at the time. My project, finally, contributes to the broader scholarly discourse on realism in art and literature by showing how these images, while often taken as reportorial documents, in fact comprise complex reflections on representation and picturing.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2010 – 9/30/2010