This painting depicts a scene in New York at six o’clock in the evening. What do people normally do at this time of the day? How has Sloan shown the time of day?
What point of view has Sloan shown in this painting? Where might the artist have been standing when he painted Six O’Clock, Winter?
Compare Hassam’s Washington Arch, Spring to Sloan’s Six O’Clock, Winter. Even though they are both paintings of New York, how have the artists depicted different aspects of the city? Is it through the season, time of day, or subject?
How has Sloan created a sense of movement? Look closely at the lines. What kind of lines dominate the composition? Diagonals, horizontals, or verticals? What effects do they create? Which would be most energetic?
Sloan painted the elevated train, known as the El, in New York around the turn of the twentieth century. Research the history of the El. When did the first one appear in New York? Are they still in existence?
Sloan depicts commuters in New York in the early twentieth century. Make a list of all of the ways people commute today. How has commuting changed over the past 100 years? How might people commute 100 years from now?
Have you ever visited a large city? Have you ever been in a crowd of people? What does it feel like? Write a story from the point of view of one of the people in Sloan’s painting. Are you walking beneath the tracks on the street or are you riding on the train?
What season has Sloan depicted? What time of day is it? How can you tell?
Six O’Clock, Winter shows a scene lit by electric lights. Looking at the timeline, in what year did Edison invent the light bulb? Why might Sloan have been fascinated by the effect of electric lights? When were New York City streets first illuminated by electricity? What kind of lights were used before then?