History And Context
John Sloan stated that he reveled in the “drab, shabby, happy, sad, and human” life he found in the seamier parts of the city. In the etching Night Windows, the viewer peers out what is presumably a window, across the alley, looking in on the surrounding neighbor’s nighttime activities. Sloan’s subjects are voyeuristic and, here, the viewer is implicated as a spectator in one of the human dramas that Sloan glimpsed in New York. Sloan wrote in 1910, “The subject of the plate [Night Windows] is one which I have had in my mind—night, the roofs back of us—a girl in dishabille at a window and a man on the roof smoking his pipe and taking in the charms while at a window below him his wife is busy hanging out the washed linen.” Sloan drew inspiration from his neighborhood in New York, making images of its people and habits. This plate was exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show.