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 Helen Farr Sloan  (1911 - 2005)

About: Helen Farr Sloan
 

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/New York      Known for: city genre, landscape, graphics

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Helen Farr is primarily known as Helen Farr Sloan

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Ad Code: 3
Helen Farr Sloan
from Auction House Records.
A Chance Meeting
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in New York City where she remained active, Helen Sloan was a painter, writer, teacher and theater set and costume designer.  She graduated from The Brearley School in 1929 and then studied at the Art Students League with John Sloan, Harry Wickey, Charles Locke and Boardman Robinson.  She took anatomy classes at Cornell University Medical School, studied weaving, pottery, metalwork, wood carving and jewelry making at the Craft Students League, and then made four study trips to Europe between 1927 and 1936.

In 1944, she married John Sloan, whose writings on the philosophy of art she had edited and who had been her teacher.  From 1940 to 1944, she was director of the Society of Independent Artists and entered each of their sixteen annual exhibitions from 1929 through 1944.  She was an active member of the Art Students League, the Highlands Art Association, and the Petersham, Massachusetts Handicraft Guild.

In New Mexico, where she and John Sloan lived in Santa Fe, she was co-founder of the New Mexico Alliance for the Arts.

In New York, Sloan spent eight years designing costumes and sets for the King-Coit Children's Theatrical School in New York and chaired the art deparment at the Nightingale-Bamford School for Girls.

After her husband's death in 1951, Helen Sloan devoted herself to turning his estate into a philanthropic instrument.  The largest benefactor was the Delaware Art Museum, which recieved more than 5000 works including painting representing every phase of his career and his archival papers.  With these acquisitions, the Museum became the leading repository for the study of Sloan.  In honor of the ongoing support by Helen Farr Sloan, museum representatives named its library the Helen Farr Sloan Library.


Source:
Paul Sternberg, Sr. Art by American Women
Obituary, Antiques and The Arts Weekly, March 10, 2006, p. 67

Biography from Apple Ridge Fine Arts:
Helen Farr was born in New York City in 1911. She received her training at the Art Students League, studying under Boardman Robinson and her future husband, the celebrated artist of the Ashcan school, John Sloan.

A painter, illustrator, lithographer and art educator, Farr also designed sets and costumes for children’s theater productions. She wrote and edited a book on Sloan’s teachings and philosophy of art in 1939. Farr married Sloan (nearly 40 years her senior) five years later.

A member of the Society of Independent Artists, Farr served as its director from 1940-44 and exhibited work in each of the annual exhibitions of the Society from 1929 through 1944. Farr’s work was also shown at the Hudson Guild in New York, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the de Young Museum of Art in San Francisco.

Farr’s work celebrates everyday life. In commenting on the philosophy of the artist Robert Henri, she revealed her own. "He encouraged his pupils to be interested in the world outside themselves," Farr wrote of Henri, "and to see beauty in what is familiar to others, often in what may seem drab or ugly to the callous mind."

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