Painter John Sloan captures three young women in a semi-private ritual in “Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair,” from 1912.
Watching the three from his studio at Sixth Avenue and West Fourth Street, Sloan called them unselfconscious performers in “another of the human comedies which were regularly staged for my enjoyment by the humble roof-top players of Cornelia Street,” according to this caption from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Rather than engaging in polite rituals in the elegant or exotic private habitats that American academics and Impressionists preferred to portray,” the caption explains, “these lightly clad Three Graces exhibit an easy camaraderie and a forthright relationship to the viewer.”
“They display their chests and bare arms as they perform their toilette, and their hair is freed from the decorous buns, ‘psyche knots,’ and other coiffures required for appropriate appearance in public.”
The breeze must have felt good up there on the roof. Here’s another John Sloan rooftop.
Tags: Ashcan School John Sloan, Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village artists, Greenwich Village in 1912, John Sloan, John Sloan rooftops, New York in 1912, New York street, paintings of Greenwich Village, rooftop paintings New York City