The Eric Sloane Collection
Another collection that The Bennington offers its patrons is work by Eric Sloane. Sloane’s love of clouds, weather and structures built by settlers give the viewers a look at Americana as through the artist’s eyes – the eyes of a traveler of this country from the 1920’s into the 1980’s. Mr. Laumeister had been fortunate enough to have enjoyed Mr. Sloane’s company one last time at dinner on the night before his death in 1985 at the age of 80.
The Bennington has nine of Mr. Sloane’s works on display in the Covered Bridge Museum, a number of his drawings of covered bridges can also be seen there, as well as an hour long interview of Sloane done by PBS that plays on a continuous loop.
About Eric Sloane
Sloane is the author of over 38 books. His many books of paintings and drawings, and especially his "A Museum of Early American Tools" book are considered the most important historical source works on the subject. Some of his books can be found in our shop.
Born in New York City as Everand Jean Hinrich, he later changed his name to Eric Sloane, Eric after the middle letters of America and Sloane after his mentor John French Sloan. A prolific painter, Eric Sloane was widely considered an artistic genius. The creator of nearly 15,000 paintings, he painted one painting almost every day, often before lunch, striving to do better than the day before.
Wiley Post himself taught the young Sloane to fly. After his first flight the young man fell in love with clouds and the sky, themes that would be central to his work for the rest of his life. One of his first sky paintings was bought by Amelia Earhart. Said to be the finest cloud painter of his generation, his largest cloud painting graces an entire wall of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
Sloane is credited with being the first television weatherman, having come up with the idea of having farmers from all over New England call in their weather observations to a Dumont, New York TV station where they could be broadcast to the regional audience. He is also credited with being the foremost authority on Early American rural architecture and Early American tools