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Ashcan School: a radical departure from the perfect world

A John Sloan oil painting of a New York City street scene made $77,500 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2015 at Eros Auctions, Inc.

A John Sloan New York City street scene made $77,500 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2015 at Eros Auctions, Inc.

NEW YORK — When it first appeared around 1900, the Ashcan School was a radical departure from the prevailing style of American Impressionist scenes of pretty girls and idealized landscapes. The Ashcan School wasn’t a school per se, but a loose art movement that embraced a journalistic, documentary approach and social realism, forsaking art for art’s sake.

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