Eric Sloane’s Voice!

February 14, 2018 |  by  |  Comments Off on Eric Sloane’s Voice!

A few years ago, I was asked to see what I could glean from a very old recording disc which had deteriorated significantly.  The disc was part of a group that covered a full interview of Eric Sloane on a 1955 episode of the Mary Margaret McBride Show.

Unfortunately, all of the recording discs from the show were damaged and could not be played so that sound could be pulled from them and recorded….except one that looked like it might be possible to play if one could find the technology to do so.  After a bit of searching, I was able to find a local source that could play the disc and make a recording of it – here was the voice of Eric Sloane, if a bit scratchy, from more than sixty years past.  I could not believe our good fortune to have captured even just a few minutes of Eric Sloane speaking.  It is the only recording of Eric’s voice with which I am familiar.  Enjoy this, it is truly a unique opportunity:


Eric Sloane’s Voice!

October 23, 2017 |  by  |  Comments Off on Eric Sloane’s Voice!

The Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum worked with Barb Russ, museum curator, to pull sound from a deteriorated recording disc.  It turned out that the disc contained a portion of an interview that Eric Sloane gave on the Mary Margaret McBride show in 1955.  Here is a few minutes of Eric Sloane speaking, the only recording of the man of which I am aware.  Enjoy!

June 30, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

Don’t Forget!  The annual July 4th “Ringing of the Bells” ceremony at 2 p.m. at the Eric Sloane Museum.  This is a charming event and one that you will remember for years to come.

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 2, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

Eric Sloane in May of 1969 at the Eric Sloane Museum of Kent, Connecticut.  The scene at appears in the photo has not changed.  If you were to enter the Eric Sloane Museum today the painting, hand written sheet that appears above Eric’s head, and the winnowing tray next to him are all still in exactly the same location.  The winnowing tray and painting were to be sold together – this being an example of what Eric termed his “placements” or “placement painting”.  The idea was to sell a painting as well as the actual object that inspired the painting.  Eric Sloane saw, heard, and felt much in the early American landscape in which he found inspiration.

March 2, 2014 |  by  |  No Comments

A photograph of artist Eric Sloane at work on a mural in the Luna Park Ballroom of Coney Island, c. 1933.  One of the earliest photographs I have uncovered of the artist at work.

November 17, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

I recently read Trails Begin Where Rails End by Albert D. Manchester (1987 Trans-Anglo Books) and found it a very interesting read.  The author documents, among other topics related to early 20th century motoring adventures in the southwestern United States, much about the tourist trade in and around Taos, New Mexico in the 1920s.  Made me wonder how much of the sites depicted in the photographs Eric Sloane might have seen and experienced.  Sloane wrote of supplementing his meager income from selling original sketches and paintings to the tourists of Taos by acting as an “unofficial tour guide”.  It was fascinating to see c. 1920s photographs of Taos, the LaFonda Hotel, and “Harveycar Driver-Mechanics” – men who piloted large and luxurious touring cars out into the hinterlands in what was known as “The Indian Detour”.  Eric Sloane must have at least been aware of this tourist service.  Interestingly, a photograph on page 141 of the book depicts a Harveycar and tourists in front of the Taos pueblo with some natives looking on from above.   I recall this subject, or one extraordinarily similar, in an Eric Sloane painting of Taos.

October 27, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

Mending fences the other day about Weather Hill Farm.  A twin prop airplane of some vintage droned in the distance and, as I often do, I took it a sign to stop my labors and reflect on Eric Sloane.  At the last board meeting of The Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum, which we held on one of the large picinic tables in front of the museum, a gentleman stopped to introduce himself to us.  After some conversation, one of the board members asked the gentleman how he came to know Eric Sloane.  It turned out that the gentleman was a pilot and very early in his career flew commercial aircraft.  He told us of his first weeks on the job, where a sort of “training” took place, for at the time flying the route he was to assume – the South Pacific – was considered somewhat of adventure.  When his training addressed the subject of weather, flying, and storms in that part of the world, his instructor handed him several early Eric Sloane books on meteorology and told him to study the books carefully, for the airline had nothing better to give him than Eric Sloane books!

It set me to thinking about a painting I recently acquired.  Affixed to the frame on the verso was a charming note from mother to son, reminding the son (and recipient), that Eric Sloane was the man whom “Dada” had studied as he learned to fly for the Army Air Corps in World War II.  How much of Eric’s works filtered into the hands of these early pilots?  How many lives might Eric’s works have saved?  Impossible to know, of course, but no doubt our country, and aviation in general, owes a debt of gratitude to a man who took the study – and ignorance of – meteorology very seriously, yet was so able to translate his knowledge into illustrations that could be readily understood by the young and inexperienced.

September 20, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

This past summer I was invited to take part in the filming of a segment on the Eric Sloane Museum for the Connecticut Public Television series entitled Connecticut Treasures.  The producer did an excellent job highlighting the museum, the collection, and the life of Eric Sloane.  To view the video, please click on the link below:

April 5, 2013 |  by  |  No Comments

Recall Dorothy’s reference to Eric’s speech impediment in her notes:

“Stuttering speech impediment.  Mrs. Jessop, speech therapist.  Ran from her in the Forrest Hill home” –  (see full post of April 2, 2013)

was echoed by the artist on many occasions.  At the time, Eric Sloane’s condition was called “stuttering”, something he struggled with throughout his life.  Viewers of the excellent Profiles in American Art video shown to visitors of the Eric Sloane Museum in Kent, Connecticut can detect anomalies in Eric Sloane’s mode of speaking.

One aspect of Eric Sloane’s print interviews that are curious to me is that Eric’s responses to interviewer’s questions are often strikingly similar across both interviews and time.  Different interviews conducted over various years often reveal very little change in Eric’s responses.  I have wondered if the reason for this striking similarity in response could be attributed to Eric’s speech impediment.  Could Eric Sloane have memorized responses to often asked questions in an attempt to mitigate the effects of his speech impediment?  Practicing, rehearsing, and ultimately memorizing responses to typical interview questions, if true, might have served to allow Eric Sloane to focus on how he was saying something as opposed to what he was saying.  Taking this admittedly shaky hypothesis to an even more unstable ground, it might also serve to explain why Eric Sloane sometimes gave what appears to be a “stock answer” to an interviewer’s question, yet the response makes little sense in the context of the question asked.  In these limited examples, the question asked of Eric Sloane falls well out of the norm of typical interview questions.  Re-reading these old interview transcripts does at least give the impression that Eric Sloane may have memorized his responses to commonly asked questions and that when asked a question that fell out of the normal range of expected questions, Eric Sloane provided a “stock answer” which may have not answered the question asked of him.

To be clear, this is not a critique of the artist.  If anything, it is illustrative of both his humanity and his courage.  If true, it would serve as yet another inspiring example of both how incredibly hard Eric Sloane worked at so many aspects of his personal and professional lives, and just how much courage he could muster in granting interviews which he knew would be memorialized in print.