Archive for March, 2013

March 10, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

I am touched by the number of people who I meet or who write to me describing the profound impact Eric Sloane has had on their lives.  Some speak of a direct connection that has changed the direction of a life towards a satisfying vocation in history, art, or architecture, while still others speak and write of a less direct – but no less powerful – connection to the works of Eric Sloane which has kindled an interest in organic gardening, or a hobby of re-purposing old barn siding into new and useful objects.  These connections are often powerful – and emotional – the impact of the life and work of a man that most have never met.

Perhaps you, too, have a connection to Eric Sloane and recognize ways in which his work influenced your life.  I believe that this is true in my own life and I embrace the notion that, because of this positive influence, I am indebted to him and his legacy.  If you feel as I do, it is time to stand up and be counted among the thousands of people who feel the same by joining the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum.  You can acknowledge and pay that debt by promoting and preserving the museum.


March 9, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

          Below appears a tentative schedule of events for the 2013 season at the Eric Sloane Museum:

Calendar of Events at the Eric Sloane Museum for 2013

Re-use, Re-cycle, Re-purpose

Eric Sloane, the town dump, and re-imagining refuse

This year’s theme playfully links the site of the Eric Sloane Museum as Kent’s first town dump with examinations of how we re-use and re-cycle.  Come explore this theme with us throughout 2013.

May 4th –       Spring Power Up at CAMA. Discounted admission to the Sloane    Museum

May 18th –     Kent’s Town Dump and the Eric Sloane Museum

Historical Trash – Bill Tobin on the history of the Kent Town Dump

What Trash Can Tell Us – Making your own archeological    discoveries

June 8th –       Connecticut Open House – Art at WorkRepurposing Old Tools     11 a.m. – 3 p.m.   Free admission to the Eric Sloane Musuem

July 4th –        The Annual Ringing of the Bells Ceremony @ The Eric Sloane Museum

July 20-27th – Re-use, Re-cycle, Re-imagine, Re-purpose – Trash Art Contest & Exhibit for kids and adults.  July 7 – Opening reception & Making Toys From Discarded and Everyday Objects workshop for children & young adults.

August           The Art of the Repair:  Fixing, Mending, and Frugality

Sept. 28th       Eric Sloane’s Legacy:  Kids Day at the Eric Sloane Museum.

Sept.               Heritage Walk and Kent Iron Furnace Tour on the museum grounds

October         Connecticut artists George Lawrence Nelson and Eric Sloane.  A joint program between the Eric Sloane Museum and the Kent Historical Society.

For more information on any of these programs, please call the Eric Sloane Museum at 860-927-3849

March 8, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

Did Eric Sloane have a pilot’s license?  This issue has been a source of speculation for years. Without question, Eric flew with many pilots including Wiley Post. He makes mention in several books of his being taught to fly. However, I have never uncovered evidence that he actually obtained a pilot’s license. I do know that he never owned a plane, and two of his wives confirmed that at the time of their respective marriages, Eric Sloane did not posses a pilot’s license.

March 8, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

Did Eric Sloane really have 6 wives?  Here is the record:

Fredginia LeRouge (marriage c. 1929)

Barbara (Bobbie) Lawrence (marriage c. 1934)

Gina Bertanzel (marriage c. 1953)

Lynn Terry (marriage c. 1955)

Ruth Hinrichs (marriage April 25, 1957)

Miriam (Mimi) Carman (marriage c. 1971).

I often thought that, for a man who wrote much about the benefits of being alone and who clearly painted subject matter that conveyed the loneliness of rural life, Eric Sloane sure didn’t want to be alone for long – matrimonially speaking.

March 8, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

Eric Sloane – 1905-1985 or 1910-1985?  This question comes up often, with reputable sources who should know better often using the incorrect birth date for Eric.  Eric Sloane had an aversion to dates.  I have several pieces of correspondence written by him that are not dated, and I have seen several other letters written by Sloane, none of them dated.  To my best recollection, the only Eric Sloane painting upon which Eric included a date was Coming Home, a painting recently featured on this website.

Many years ago, I took Ruth Hinrichs out to lunch on Long Island.  I’d ring Ruth up on the telephone occasionally and ask her if she would like to go to lunch – she loved The Ruby Room in Mineola, and another restaurant – whose name escapes me – when she wanted to go to brunch.  On one of these occasions together Ruth and I talked about Eric Sloane’s aversions to dates and dating things.  She remembered once, very early in her marriage to Eric Sloane, she was trying to help him remember something that had happened a few years earlier and was “walking him through the math” trying to determine when it had occurred.  The effect of that conversation on Eric Sloane was striking.  He became visibly ashen, as if all of the color drained from his face, according to Ruth.  His countenance had changed so dramatically, that Ruth and Eric never spoke of dates again throughout there marriage.

It was Eric himself who began the controversy over his date of birth.  Sloane wrote “I confess to having gained five years in Who’s Who (giving my birth date as 1910 instead of 1905) and I hope sticklers will forgive that childish prank (Sloane, Eric. Eighty. New York: Dodd Mead & Company, 1985, no pagination).”  Eric Sloane’s correct birth year is 1905, not 1910.  And seeing how March was Eric’s birth month, a happy birthday to you, Eric Sloane!

March 5, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

            Beginning in the 2013 season, the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum will have a table permanently set up in the Eric Sloane Museum.  This will enable us to provide membership and other forms of information, copies of our newsletter, and press releases to museum visitors.  Additionally, a small amount of items will be offered for sale to benefit the friends organization.  Many thanks to Barbara Russ, Museum Assistant in the Eric Sloane Museum, and to Karin Peterson, Museum Director, for allowing us to place this table within the museum.

March 5, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

New Video Documentary Planned on the Life and Work of Eric Sloane

          We are pleased to announce that the friends group has enlisted the services of Michael Bird, owner of MHBird Productions, to begin to videotape a documentary of those who knew Eric Sloane.  The Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum will provide logistical and financial support to further enhance an oral history project begun by Barbara Russ.  Over the years, Barbara has been conducting interviews with people who knew Eric Sloane.  The friends group recognized the importance of Barbara’s work and understood that, because of the advancing years of many possible interviewees, her work needed to be accelerated and enhanced, if possible.  To that end, Michael agreed to donate his time and services as a professional videographer to not only tape interviews, but to travel to the homes of the interview subjects.

This is an extremely important opportunity and project.  We are currently seeking a person who might be interested in traveling with Michael to actually conduct the interviews as he will have his hands full in operating all of the recording equipment.  Additionally, we are seeking to partner with an individual or business interested in underwriting the costs of this important project.  Please contact Jim Mauch at 570-204-2906 or by email at for additional details.  MH Bird Productions can be reached at or by calling 860-350-1134.