John Sloan's Westminster Abbey portfolio is among the most rare of his printmaking output, and a complete set like this is even more unusual. Printed in dark brown ink in on a sturdy wove paper, the portfolio depicts select views of the interior and exterior of the Abbey, each accompanied by verses of poetry themselves surrounded by decorative foliation. The series was originally produced for A. Edward Newton, who in his later years would become an important collector of rare and decorative books. Under the employ of Newton, Sloan, who never left the United States, created these views of the abbey by copying photogravures of paintings by the English artist Alfred Dawson. Another complete portfolio is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1953-105-1--13).
The title piece and each pair are custom framed. Each have hand-laid silk mats with recessed bevels, Museum Glass glazing protecting from 99 percent of UV rays, and 24-karat gold gilt cassetta mouldings.
3.25 x 4.75 inches, each print image
13.38 x 15 inches, title print frame
20.75 x 14.88 inches, each double-window frame
• Morse, Peter. John Sloan's Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Etchings, Lithographs, and Posters. Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 2001, pp. 11-23.
John French Sloan (August 2, 1871 – September 7, 1951) was a twentieth-century painter and etcher and one of the founders of the Ashcan school of American art. He was also a member of the group known as The Eight. He is best known for his urban genre scenes and ability to capture the essence of neighborhood life in New York City, often observed through his Chelsea studio window. Sloan has been called "the premier artist of the Ashcan School who painted the inexhaustible energy and life of New York City during the first decades of the twentieth century" and an "early twentieth-century realist painter who embraced the principles of Socialism and placed his artistic talents at the service of those beliefs. - Wikipedia