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Welcome to the Weather Hill Farm Blog, an informal space for discussions related to many of the aspects of the life and work of Eric Sloane. I have posted a series of videos first because they serve to provide an overview of some general topics related to the life and work of Eric Sloane. Scroll down past the list of links to the videos and you’ll find posts and articles related the life and work of Eric Sloane, his art, his writing, as well as updates on happenings at the Eric Sloane Museum, work performed by The Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum, and even life as it unfolds at Weather Hill Farm.

Eric Sloane – A Video Introduction – an introduction to the artist

Eric Sloane – His Early Years – a video covering Eric’s childhood and adolescence

Eric Sloane Frames – A video introduction to the types of frames Eric Sloane used over the course of his career

Did Eric Sloane Paint on Canvas? Eric Sloane is noted for his use of Masonite, but the artist did use canvas board and even canvas early in his career.

The Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum – See what the friends are doing to help fulfill their mission to “…assist in the preservation and interpretation of the Eric Sloane Museum and its collections, to encourage and promote visitation, and to enhance public appreciation for the legacy of artist and author Eric Sloane”.

Eric Sloane, Eric Hatch

Happy 4th of July from “The Committee of the Two Erics”! That is Eric Hatch on the left, and Eric Sloane on the right.
“…the Let Freedom Ring project envisioned by the two men, who met as ‘The Committee of the Two Erics’ to promote an idea born from a radio interview Eric Sloane gave in July of 1962. During that interview, Sloane spoke of the early American tradition of ringing bells in celebration of the nation’s independence instead of the more modern fireworks displays. Listeners responded enthusiastically to the idea, and “The Committee of the Two Erics” began an article and letter writing campaign that ultimately led to a joint congressional proclamation (77 Stat. 9441), adopted 26 June 1963 to have bells rung in public buildings across America in commemoration of the nation’s independence.”
– From Wil Mauch’s Symbols of American Spirit: 50 Years of the Eric Sloane Museum

4th of July Celebrations, Eric Sloane-style!

Happy 4th of July from the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum! Eric Sloane had published “The Sound of Bells” in 1966.
It was an outgrowth of his research and efforts to promote the ringing of bells – along with his friend and fellow author Eric Hatch – on the 4th of July:
“…the Let Freedom Ring project envisioned by the two men, who met as ‘The Committee of the Two Erics’ to promote an idea born from a radio interview Eric Sloane gave in July of 1962. During that interview, Sloane spoke of the early American tradition of ringing bells in celebration of the nation’s independence instead of the more modern fireworks displays. Listeners responded enthusiastically to the idea, and “The Committee of the Two Erics” began an article and letter writing campaign that ultimately led to a joint congressional proclamation (77 Stat. 9441), adopted 26 June 1963 to have bells rung in public buildings across America in commemoration of the nation’s independence.”
– From Wil Mauch’s Symbols of American Spirit: 50 Years of the Eric Sloane Museum

Opening Day at the Eric Sloane Museum

“Queen of Hardware of Great Britain, 1969”

No less royalty than the “Queen of Hardware of Great Britain, 1969” was a distinguished guest at the 1969 opening of the Eric Sloane Museum!
From Wil Mauch’s “Symbols of American Spirit : 50 Years of the Eric Sloane Museum”.
We will be posting some history of the museum and how it came to be, leading up to the July 2, 2022 celebration to be held on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum in Kent.


“…the ‘Queen of Hardware 1969 Great Britain’, seemingly very popular during the tour of the {Eric Sloane} museum judging by contemporary press photos, especially with one gentleman in particular. Sadly, both of their names went unrecorded.”

Governor Dempsey Announces that Eric Sloane To Donate His Collection of Early American Tools To The State Of Connecticut

Eric Sloane with Eric Hatch, Bill Tobin, Governor Dempsey, and Don Davis

On 18 June 1968, Governor Dempsey announced that Eric Sloane would donate his early American tool collection to the state of Connecticut. Pictured, from left: Eric Hatch, chairman of the Connecticut State Historic Commission, William Tobin, First Selectman of Kent, Governor John Dempsey, Donald W. Davis, president of The Stanley Works, and Eric Sloane. The five gentlemen are holding one of Eric’s “placements”, consisting of four early braces and several early 19th century almanacs mounted to an antique barn board backing. From Wil Mauch’s “Symbols of American Spirit : 50 Years of the Eric Sloane Museum”.
We will be posting some history of the museum and how it came to be, leading up to the July 2, 2022 celebration to be held on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum in Kent.

Did Eric Sloane Paint On Location?

Did Eric Sloane paint on location, or from memory?

           I was asked a question recently about whether or not most of Eric’s paintings were of a specific location or not. It is difficult to pinpoint a location of most Eric’s paintings.  It is true that some of Eric’s paintings were of specific buildings and therefore, by extension, of particular locales.  Some examples that come to mind are the barns of various Shaker communities, covered bridges, and the Rancho de Taos Mission church in New Mexico. These examples of identifiable structures and objects are relatively uncommon examples within the body of known work by Eric.  He trended towards less directly identifiable scenes over the course of his career, but I am not convinced that this was a conscious decision on the part of the artist.  Part of the reason for this is that he did not paint on location, rather – at least according to Sloane himself – from memory.  This is partially true.  He did paint his recollections, but I have found in nearly 25 years of research that he was liberally aided by books and photographs.  So much so that a small number of his paintings appear as fully copied images from an identifiable photograph in a specific book.  He seemed to love the Pennsylvania landscape, to the extent that quite often he painted a Pennsylvania bank barn in a work he would title “Connecticut Winter”, or something similar.  Quite a few Sloane landscapes are really almost a montage of memories that don’t always “go together”.

Eric Sloane Museum Kent, Connecticut

Vestibule of the Eric Sloane Museum in Kent, Connecticut

A photo of the vestibule of the newly finished Sloane-Stanley Museum (as it was then called) in 1969. The winnowing tray, flail, wooden shovel, and sickle appear in the painting that Eric hung on the wall. The painting must have had singular significance to him – it was the first and, at the time, the only painting hung in the museum.
From my book “Symbols of American Spirit: 50 Years of the Eric Sloane Museum”. 53 Years ago this month, the Sloane-Stanley Museum opened it’s doors to the public. We will continue to post some history of the museum and how it came to be, leading up to the July 2, 2022 celebration to be held on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum in Kent.

What does the “N.A.” mean after Eric Sloane’s signature?

   I recently received an inquiry concerning the ‘N.A.’ that often appears after Eric’s signature on paintings and illustrations.  Here an is an excerpt from Symbols of American Spirit: 50 Years of the Eric Sloane Museum:

     The “N.A.” after Eric’s signature denotes that has was voted as a Full Member of the National Academy of Design (founded in 1825), a prestigious honor in the world of fine arts.  Members have included Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer.  Prospective candidates must be nominated by the Academy for admission.  If admitted, the artist is considered an Associate Member (designated by A.N.A. after a signature) until the death of a Full Member, when the full membership can vote to have and Associate Member fulfill the vacancy.

     Eric Sloane became a full member in 1967 and, in my experience, used the N.A. designation in each work he completed after that date.  I have worked with paintings by Sloane with an “A.N.A.” after his signature and presume these to be done in the early to mid-1960s (it can take a long time – and sometimes not happen at all – for an Associate Member to rise to Full Member).  A signature that reads “Eric Sloane, N.A.” helps to identify the date of creation for the work as between 1967 and 1985.  Further examination of style, brushwork, palette choice, and dozens of other important details help to narrow considerably the probable date of creation.

Eric Sloane Pen and Ink Illustration “Closing Fast”

Closing Fast by Eric Sloane, N.A.

“Closing Fast, Republic Guardsmen” by Eric Sloane, N.A. Compare this one to one of his later rural paintings we posted previously to get a sense of the breadth of talent of this American artist. You can almost hear the din of the engines and the whistling of the wind across metal and glass. This magnificent illustration is available currently on our website – just click here.

Eric Sloane and Aerology

A mystery we solved concerning Eric Sloane’ s lost weather models. In various publications, Eric alluded to creating a number of weather models for the Museum of Natural History in New York City. Until now, there was scant information about them. We now have a set of photographs of all of the models, which were installed at the Hayden Planetarium in New York, which was part of the Museum of Natural History. For more information on this fantastic story, please see www.weatherhillfarm.com/research-2/.

Eric Sloane and the Howe Truss in Covered Bridges

Signed Eric Sloane pen and ink of the Howe Truss as used in covered bridges

An original Eric Sloane pen and ink illustration I have yet to locate in any publication in which Eric details the use of iron in William Howe’s covered bridge design. For some time in the first half on the 19th century, inventors, designers and outright schemers fell over themselves tweaking existing plans to claim a better design. Howe must have been one savvy guy – he patented his design in 1840 and, scant two years later, sold the rights to the design to one of his workers for $40,000. That provides some perspective on just how hot the speculative market was for covered bridge construction in mid-19th century America. In 2021 dollars, that $40,000 purchase would be equivalent to approximately $1,257,779. Note the saucy inscription in Sloane’s hand, lower left. Learn more about this most fascinating of American icons at www.weatherhillfarm.com