Support: Wove paper
Platemark: 17.4 x 12.4 cm (6 7/8 x 4 7/8 in.); Sheet: 24 x 18.5 cm (9 7/16 x 7 5/16 in.)
Gift in memory of Helen Borowitz 2013.270
© Delaware Art Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Catalogue raisonné: Morse 195
This print implies one offshoot of the shift in culture during Prohibition: previously segregated, men and women now imbibed alcohol freely together at illicit drinking establishments.
John Sloan made this print in the year that Prohibition was passed in the United States, banning the sale, manufacture, and transport of alcoholic beverages. The etching depicts two men attempting to persuade two women to join them in a downstairs establishment for—as the sign says—“tea” and “dance.” The era’s viewers would have recognized that such “tea rooms” were in fact speakeasies, providing access to prohibited beverages. The entryway is crowded with curious patrons, and one woman begins to descend the steps.
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