A member of the Ashcan School, John Sloan studied under Robert Henri, and like him, moved from Philadelphia to New York to paint the teeming life of the early twentieth-century metropolis. His work depicts city residents active in a wide range of pursuits. In A Window on the Street, though white curtains and a blossoming rose brighten her window, this woman's gaze is despondent. How long has this woman been waiting? Or is she, like Sloan, absorbed in people-watching? Sloan would say of his work that "the sympathy and understanding I have for the common people, as they are meanly called, I feel as a spectator of life".
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