The Jitney

Artist: John Sloan (American, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania 1871–1951 Hanover, New Hampshire)

Date: ca. 1915

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm)
Framed: 24 5/8 x 28 5/8 x 1 3/4 in. (62.5 x 72.7 x 4.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: George A. Hearn Fund, 1940

Accession Number: 40.122

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


In 1914 Sloan and his wife spent the first of five summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a coastal town that had long welcomed artists. There, Sloan found new subjects and, inspired by Post-Impressionist paintings he had seen at the 1913 Armory Show in New York, experimented with light and color in their own right. In this work, which depicts figures rushing to catch the small bus, or jitney, that circled Gloucester Harbor, he played down social interaction, the focus of his New York paintings, to explore the contrast between the reddish gold hue of the middle ground and the background’s bluish shadow.