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John Sloan

Sixth Avenue Elevated at Third Street

1928

Artist

John Sloan (1871-1951)

Title

Sixth Avenue Elevated at Third Street

Date

1928

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Overall: 30 × 40 1/8 in. (76.2 × 101.9 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase

Accession number

36.154

Object Label

In Sixth Avenue Elevated at Third Street, John Sloan encapsulates the excitement and energy of New York City nightlife in the late 1920s. He focuses primarily on a group of young women scattering before an on-coming car as the elevated train lumbers over their heads into the station. While Sloan shows the men walking or driving sedately in the background, he portrays the women in a flurry of activity, arm in arm, running, and pulling each other. Their bobbed hair and knee-length skirts—the latest in fashion—convey new-found freedoms for women. 1920 saw the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, allowing women to vote in the United States. As the decade progressed, increasing numbers of young women were entering a booming work force to fill the growing need for secretaries and office workers. And the "flapper" epitomized the high spirits and carefree attitudes of America's youth at a time of unparalleled social change and material prosperity.