(American; b. Lock Haven, Pa., 1871–d. Hanover, N.H., 1951)
Yeats at Petitpas'
26 1/16 x 32 in. (66.2 x 81.3 cm)
Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund
Run by the French Petitpas sisters, the boardinghouse depicted here was a bohemian lower West Side gathering spot in the early years of the twentieth century. It became a favorite of young artists and writers as a result of John Butler Yeats, seen here second from left. Philosopher, artist, and father of Irish poet William Butler Yeats, the elder Yeats had taken up residence at the boardinghouse and was often surrounded by such figures as the biographer and literary historian Van Wyck Brooks (at far left), and Sloan himself, who serves as the aloof narrator at the far right. Sloan’s wife Dolly appears to the left of the standing Celestine Petitpas. This genteel scene was something of a departure for the artist, who was better known for his images of the seamier side of urban life.