barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

John Sloan (1871-1951)

Fun, One Cent (New York City Life Series)

New York, 1905


Plate: 12.2 x 17.3 cm; sheet: 25.2 x 32.4 cm 


A group of young women gather around Mutoscope slot machines that promise moving pictures of ‘Girls in their Night Gowns’. Their wry amusement suggests the way commercial entertainments can be used and subverted by those outside their intended audience. Unlike many intellectuals of the period Sloan was fascinated by, rather than simply dismissive of, popular culture, and nuances his critique of its crude enticements with the women’s playful responses.

Gifted by Delaware Art Museum and the Helen Farr Sloan Estate in 2017 (No. 2017.1/5)

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