Subway Stairs – Working Proof


John Sloan (1871-1951), Subway Stairs, etching, 1926, signed, titled and inscribed “working proof 1;” also with the notation “JS imp” in pencil bottom margin [with the name and date in the plate].  Reference: Morse 221, third state (of 7). There was an edition in the seventh state, 60 printed. In very good condition, on ivory laid paper with margins (the slightest toning toward the margin edges). 6 7/8 x 5, the sheet 8 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches. Archival mounting, with acid free board, window mat.

A fine early state proof impression of one of Sloan’s most alluring subjects.

In this third state proof impression the composition is essentially complete, but the heavy cross hatching has yet to be done on the girl’s legs (which was added in the fourth state, and then burnished out in the seventh state), and some work has yet to be done on the girl’s face.  According to the notation this impression was printed by Sloan; the prints for the edition were done by printers Platt, White and others.

Sloan wrote of this print: “In modern times incoming trains cause updrafts in the subway entrances. Getting on an omnibus in the hoop-skirt was exciting in grandmother’s day.”