Oil on canvas
Framed: 97.2 x 82.2 x 6.4 cm (38 1/4 x 32 3/8 x 2 1/2 in.); Unframed: 80.3 x 65.4 cm (31 5/8 x 25 3/4 in.)
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Gift of Amelia Elizabeth White 1964.160
According to John Sloan's diary, this painting was made in March 1912 at his apartment on East 22nd Street, New York.
Trained as a journalist, the young Sloan explored social issues more vigorously than most of the painters of his time, portraying working-class urbanites engaged in ordinary activities. He observed this particular scene through a rear window of his Manhattan apartment. Perched on a narrow fire escape, a woman hangs fresh laundry to dry on clotheslines strung between tenements. As evidenced by the painting, the labors of American women at the turn of the 1900s were most often confined to the domestic realm.
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