Helen Farr Sloan, 1911-2005

by Heather Campbell Coyle



 

Selected images, captions and interpretative text for objects in the exhibition / image set two

 

(above: Helen Farr Sloan (1911-2005), Apache Devil Dance, c.1930, Lithograph, composition: 8 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Bequest of Helen Farr Sloan, 2015. © Delaware Art Museum /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

The Devil Dance honors and summons the mountain spirits. The dancers, also called Crown Dancers, cover their faces and wear elaborate headdresses and bells on their clothing, and the dance is performed at night.

 

(above: Helen Farr Sloan (1911-2005), Feline No. II, Angna Enters, 1930, Single?color lithograph, composition: 11 7/8 x 7 1/4 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Gift of Helen Farr Sloan, 1978. © Delaware Art Museum /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

Angna Enters (1897-1989) was a dancer, mime, writer, and visual artist. She moved to New York to study art at the Art Students League in 1919. She also studied dance with Michio Ito, and in 1924 she launched her first solo program, The Theatre of Angna Enters at the Greenwich Village Theater. The Sloans were friends of Enters, and John Sloan designed one of her playbills. Helen Farr Sloan depicted Enters performing "Feline" a Spanish-flavored dance set to music by Debussy.

 

(above: Helen Farr Sloan (1911-2005), Angna Enters, Dutch Dance, c.1930, Etching and aquatint, plate: 7 13/16 x 5 7/8 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Bequest of Helen Farr Sloan, 2015. © Delaware Art Museum /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

Here, the artist highlighted Enters' dramatic costume, which the dancer designed and produced herself and considered integral to her performance.

 

(above: Helen Farr Sloan (1911-2005), 59th Street, New York City, c.1930, Oil on canvas, 23 3/8 x 30 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Gift of Johannes R. and Betty P. Krahmer, 2009. © Delaware Art Museum /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

This painting records a blustery night in the theater district. To the right is Childs' Restaurant in Columbus Circle, described in the New York Times as a "pre-dawn meeting place for actors, writers, prizefighters and men about town."

 

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