Connoisseurs of Prints

sloanconnoisseursJohn Sloan (1871-1951), Connoisseurs of Prints, etching, 1905, signed in pencil bottom right (also titled in lower left margin near edge), Morse 127, from the New York City Life Series, edition of 100, on Arches cream laid paper, with wide margins (5 x 7, sheet 9 3/4 x 13 inches), in very good condition, tiny spot left margin just outside of platemark, barely visible light stain, archival window mounting.

Provenance:  ex Collection Jessup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, with the blindstamp of the University of Maine; sold at Sotheby’s New York sale, March 1988 ($4750 plus 10% commission), and then to current owner.

A very fine, black, vivid impression, with a light plate tone.

Here are Sloan’s notes: “Connoisseurs of Prints is the first of my New York life plates. It shows an exhibition of prints that were to be auctioned at the old American Art Galleries on 23rd St. Henri [Robert Henri, artist and teacher] and I talked about making a series of connoisseurs, he was so pleased with this one.”

The New York City Life set, 1905-6, consisted of 10 prints, which Sloan hoped to sell as a set (he met with little success, and eventually sold them separately). He later added three more prints which were also to be considered as part of the New York group. These prints of early 20th Century New York have ranked among Sloan’s most popular etchings, and Connoisseurs of Prints became one of the most famous of this set and of Sloan’s images generally.