Archive for March, 2014

March 28, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

A more detailed photograph of the Eric Sloane-designed business card he was using in the 1940s.  These are extremely rare – I have only heard of another in existence, though I have never seen it.  This card is framed along with “Brewster F2A2” by Eric Sloane, N.A.

March 21, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

The Artist Who Loved the Sky:  Cloudscapes, Weather, and the World of Eric Sloane

Programming and Events, 2014

The Eric Sloane Museum

Save these Dates!  Come and enjoy the many great events sponsored by the Eric Sloane Museum and the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum. We look forward to seeing you this summer.

May 3rd– The Eric Sloane Museum will offer discounted admission in conjunction with the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association Spring Power Up on May 3rdfrom 10 to 4.  There will be demonstrations in pottery using a foot powered treadle wheel and bowl turning on a spring pole lathe on museum grounds.

May 17th – Opening of the 2014 exhibit The Artist Who Loved the Sky:  Cloudscapes, Weather, and the World of Eric SloaneFriends of the Eric Sloane Museum Hospitality Tent 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

June 14th – Connecticut Open House Day, 10 – 4.  Free Admission.  Children’s’ activities – create their own weathervane or lightning rod art piece to take home with them.  Art supplies will be provided.  Artist Joe Buda’s weathervane and lightning rod art on display.

July 4th – Annual “Ringing of the Bells” ceremony at 2 p.m.

July 26th – Opening reception for The World Above:  Artists Celebrate The Sky.  Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum Hospitality Tent 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

August 23rd – For Spacious Skies: A Day to Celebrate the Sky.  Meteorologist, Children’s games and activities, Mr. Jack Borden of the For Spacious Skies program, and more.  1-4 p.m.

September 26th, 27th & 28th – CAMA Machinery Weekend – Discount Admission.  Tool demonstrations with Joe Buda.

October 3rd:  Last Day for The Artist Who Loved the Sky:  Cloudscapes, Weather, and the World of Eric Sloane.

October 4th:  Talk by Eric Sloane biographer James Mauch – The Artist Who Loved the Sky:  Cloudscapes, Weather, and the World of Eric Sloane.  11 a.m.

March 17, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

The Artist Who Loved the Sky:  Cloudscapes, Weather, and the World of Eric Sloane

Eric Sloane, painter of cloudscapes, c. 1940

            Irrespective of the subject matter, it is Eric Sloane’s ability to represent the heavens in oil paints that defines him as an artist.  It is impossible to pinpoint exactly when and how Eric Sloane learned to so skillfully paint the sky, yet it is my opinion that he was incredibly observant and gifted in his ability to translate what he observed to canvas or Masonite.  Eric Sloane knew, probably more from careful observation than the scant amount of artistic schooling he received, that the sky both reflected the landscape underneath and exhibited its own color gradations over distance (gradations that are completely the opposite of ones found in landscapes).

Eric Sloane said that he “discovered” the sky in Taos, New Mexico, but it took a stint painting murals at Coney Island to apply what he had observed and learned in earnest.  David Martin, owner of the Half Moon Hotel, met Sloane while he was at work on one of the large murals in the amusement park.  Martin obviously took a liking to the young artist, for he offered Sloane the position of “artist in residence” at the hotel.  In exchange for room and board at the Half Moon, Eric Sloane would be required to letter menus and signs for use in the hotel.  How much of that work Sloane was able to accomplish is not known, for Eric Sloane gravitated to the large, blank walls of the hotel.  Eric Sloane was inspired.  The Half Moon Hotel was close to Floyd Bennett Aviation Field, an important hub of early aviation.  Wiley Post, Roscoe Turner, Bill Odom, and other famous and not as famous aviators of the day would often choose to have lunch or dinner at the hotel, sometimes staying the night.  One can imagine the evenings at the Half Moon’s bar, of tales swapped of aviation triumphs and mishaps, all taken in by young Eric Sloane.

   Closing Fast, Republic Guardsman by Eric Sloane, N.A.

          Eric Sloane was able to convince David Martin that large murals of clouds – paintings from the pilot’s perspective – would be a good investment given the hotel clientele.  Of course, Eric would need to spend some time at the airfield researching his subject matter.  Within weeks, Eric Sloane was trading rides in airplanes for painting fuselage art on airplanes.  His perspective, and his artistic focus and direction, changed forever.

In the years leading up to the Second World War, Eric Sloane continued to fly in order to learn more about the world above the one more familiar to most.  Sloane also turned his attention to contributing illustrations to some works on aviation for aviation-related magazines.  He caught the attention of someone at Devin-Adair Company (whether through his association with pilots, time at the Half Moon and Floyd Bennett Field, his illustrations, or through another way remains unclear), the firm that ultimately published his first book, Clouds, Air and Wind (1941).  Sloane followed this volume with contributions to Assen Jordanoff’s Your Wings and Ernest Vetter’s Let’s Fly: An ABC of Flying.  All three volumes were written under the darkening clouds of the Second World War, and the military implications of each were not lost on the Army Air Corps.  Faced with the difficulty of training of young men quickly in the highly technical arts of combat theatre aviation, the Army Air Corps recognized immediately Eric Sloane’s ability to depict cloud forms and illustrate weather phenomenon.  Eric Sloane’s work with the Army Air Corps helped him to hone another skill set:  writing that was simple and engaging, coupled with cartoon-like illustrations that could relay the ideas behind pages of technical information into simple but memorable set of line drawings.   This was a crucial skill set to have, given the audience for which Sloane was writing.  The Army Air Corps used Sloane’s illustrations in several publications including Your Body In Flight (1943 Air Service Command, Restricted).

            Eric Sloane’s work for the Army Air Corps and for a number of civilian aviation related companies is a period in the artist’s life that deserves deeper study and scholarship.  His work was important – vitally so, I would argue – to the men and women (remember the W.A.S.P.s?) who flew during the Second World War and after.  Just this past year a gentleman who visited the Eric Sloane Museum spoke with the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum, telling us of his early years as a commercial pilot flying the South Pacific routes.  There was, he said, little in the way of information or training in flying these new routes.  Instead, he was handed a few books by Eric Sloane as an introduction – and he has been a great admirer of Eric Sloane’s works ever since.  How many pilots, civilian and military, have benefited from Eric’s work?

Following the Second World War, Eric Sloane continued to submit and have published various articles on aviation, clouds, and the weather.  He branched out, being published in magazines as varied as Air Trails, Popular Science, Rudder, and Weatherwise.  Much of his research and many of his illustrations were compiled into book form, spawning his career as an author.  His deepening research interests in the field of meteorology led him to presume that study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was in order, but a brief experience in a meteorology course riddled with mathematical calculations and dull scientific language cured him of that notion.  One of his professors suggested, tongue in cheek, that if Eric Sloane wanted to find “romance in the weather”, rather than mathematic and scientific concepts, Eric ought to consult the early American farm almanacs and diaries.  Eric Sloane took his professor seriously and began collecting in earnest.  It was this passing suggestion that launched Eric Sloane into the next phase of his career, a career for which he is better known – a painter of barns, covered bridges, and of farming scenes.

Eric Sloane never abandoned his love of the sky.  His clouds and weather still dominated his landscapes.  The sky became as central a theme as the landscape below.  He was a keen observer of the sky, of weather, of shadow, and of natural light.  He understood, if not in scientific terms than in artistic ones, how cloud forms and the color of light changed during the course of the days and the course of the seasons.  Winter or Spring, dawn or evening, Eric Sloane’s landscapes are so convincing as a direct result of the artist’s study of, and reverence for, the sky.

Autumn Clouds by Eric Sloane, N.A.  O/P, 38.25″ wide x 28.25″ tall by site

About the Author:  James W. Mauch is the author of Aware: A Retrospective of the Life and Work of Eric Sloane and a member of the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum.  Article adapted from the Spring 2014 issue of Legacy, the newsletter of the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum.

March 12, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

The Board of Directors of the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum work to preserve and to promote the legacy of Connecticut author, illustrator, and artist Eric Sloane (1905-1985). We work in concert with the state of Connecticut and the Eric Sloane Museum to develop programming and events held on the museum grounds throughout each season. Our board members receive no compensation and we are a welcoming and inclusive group.

Meet a board member! Jeffrey Bischoff:

The Board of Directors of the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum work to preserve and to promote the legacy of Connecticut author, illustrator, and artist Eric Sloane (1905-1985). We work in concert with the state of Connecticut and the Eric Sloane Museum to develop programming and events held on the museum grounds throughout each season. Our board members receive no compensation and we are a welcoming and inclusive group.

Meet a board member! Jeffrey Bischoff:

Jeffrey Bischoff, Vice President. Jeff is the owner of Old Greenwich Consultants, a financial services recruiting firm. A graduate of Villanova University (BA, English), Jeff was head of recruiting for the UBS Private Bank after serving as the National Recruiting Officer for Citigroup’s private wealth management division, Smith Barney.
A published author himself, Jeff was moved by the works of Eric Sloane when he was given Eric Sloane’s Diary of An Early American Boy on a trip to Old Sturbridge Village in 1972. Sloane’s stories of early American settlers and their “Yankee ingenuity” inspired him to take up many hobbies that are still drivers in his pursuit of happiness: organic gardening, reading about and exploring stone walls, barns, farms, and American history. Jeff resides in Old Greenwich with his wife and two children.

March 12, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments
The Board of Directors of the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum work to preserve and to promote the legacy of Connecticut author, illustrator, and artist Eric Sloane (1905-1985). We work in concert with the state of Connecticut and the Eric Sloane Museum to develop programming and events held on the museum grounds throughout each season. Our board members receive no compensation and we are a welcoming and inclusive group.

Meet a board member! Barbara Russ:

Barbara S. Russ, Museum Liaison. Barbara is one of five children born to Roger and Cornelia Straiton from Bridgewater, CT. She graduated from Shepaug Valley Regional High School in 1975 and Americo Academy of Beauty Culture in 1977. When Barbara entered the museum world, she had been a licensed beautician, Dental Assistant, Teacher’s Assistant for Special Ed, and an EMT for an inner city camp for children. In 1995 Barbara was hired by the State of CT to be a Museum Guide at the Sloane-Stanley Museum and became the Museum Assistant in 1998, a position she holds today at the renamed Eric Sloane Museum.

March 12, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

The Board of Directors of the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum work to preserve and to promote the legacy of Connecticut author, illustrator, and artist Eric Sloane (1905-1985). We work in concert with the state of Connecticut and the Eric Sloane Museum to develop programming and events held on the museum grounds throughout each season. Our board members receive no compensation and we are a welcoming and inclusive group.

Meet a board member! Lia Brassord:

Lia Brassord, Treasurer. Lia earned her B.A. in Economics at Smith College in 1983. She earned certification as an Employee Benefits Specialist at Wharton in 1985. In an interesting historic twist, Lia was Manager of Employee Benefits for The Stanley Works, New Britain, CT from 1985-1988 and also served as a Museum Educator for the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield, CT from 1988-1997. Additionally, Lia served as a board member for the Amherst Historical Society in Amherst, Massachusetts from 1998-1999. Currently, Lia serves as the Senior Assistant Director of Admission for Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, a position she has enjoyed since 1999.

 

March 12, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

Eric Sloane (c. 1969) at the entrance to the newly constructed Sloane-Stanley Museum (as it was then called).

March 12, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

          Eric Sloane was more than willing to sign and inscribe his books for many admirers. Here is a charming example that deviates some from the usual type of Eric Sloane drawing and inscription. The inscription is clearly more personal and the drawing was likely rendered for Stella, who must have enjoyed reading on the beach.

March 11, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

You are needed as a member of the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum. For a limited time, if you join at the Sponsor, Director, or President’s Circle Membership Level, you will receive a complimentary signed and inscribed copy of Aware: A Retrospective of the Life and Work of Eric Sloane. Help us promote and preserve the Eric Sloane Museum and get a great book as a bonus!

March 11, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

Thanks to New and Renewing Members of the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum!

100% of your membership support in the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum supports events and programming of the Eric Sloane Museum. You help to further the mission of the Eric Sloane Museum and to preserve and promote Eric Sloane’s legacy. Thank you!

New Members:

Bill Bachrach (Family)
Lia Brassord (Sponsor)
Nancy Buescher (Individual)
Carol Brown (Individual)
Nancy Hipsher (Individual)
Paul Kirsch (Sponsor)
Charmaine Sloane-Thacker ($500 donation)

Renewing:

Richard and Alice Mandel (Family)
James E. and Rebecca E. Mauch (President’s Circle)
James W., Edith M., and Elizabeth K. Mauch (President’s Circle)
Harold and Marie Stewart (Sponsor)

“Being a long time fan of Eric Sloane’s, I am excited about joining this group. Thanks for keeping his Legacy alive.”
-Recent Member of the Friends group