2018-03-14 / Front Page

Eric Sloane: An Artist Whose Head Was In The Clouds

Eric Sloane’s maps of Forest Hills Gardens depict the lay of the land, but also add a little bit of history from back in the day. The borders include various references to the Tennis Apartments and Adolf Weinman, the sculptor who created the Mercury Dime and the War Memorial in Flag Pole Green in Forest Hills Gardens.

These works of art were created by Everard Hinrichs, a name long gone and forgotten. Born in 1905 he grew up in Forest Hills at 3 1/2 Continental Ave. His love of art was greatly influenced by two neighbors, Frederic Goudy of Goudy Font fame and illustrator Herbert Roundtree, whose work appeared in magazines like Field & Stream and posters for local events such as the Forest Hills 4th of July celebrations.

As a determined youth he took on whatever art assignments would come his way, which may explain his map making. Apparently Hinrichs created additional maps such as one of Kew Gardens, a next-door neighborhood.

There is also evidence that he drew pictures of many of the homes in this area of Queens, one being on Underhill Road just off of Burns Street in Forest Hills.

During his mid-teenage years, Everard Hinrichs changed his name to Eric Sloane to avoid the anti-German sentiment of the day sparked by The Great War, aka WWI. He chose Eric to be his first name because it appears in “America.”

In 1922 Eric’s mother died from a long illness. He dealt with this by running away and living in various states. During these journeys he became enthralled and healed with the beauty and spirit of America.

Eventually he returned to New York and continued his passion for painting. Most of his clients were pilots. Many became so captivated by his talent they frequently took Eric up for a spin in the air. His head was finally in the clouds. Eric couldn’t paint enough of them. Soon afterwards aviator Amelia Earhart purchased one of his paintings. Later Sloane was approached to illustrate several plane flying textbooks for the Army Air Corps.

In 1969, the Sloane Stanley Museum opened in Kent, Connecticut and continued to expand over the following 20 years. It exists today, known as The Eric Sloane Museum & Kent Iron Furnace. Eric also began to publish various books depicting his love of his countryside.

On March 5, 1985, a week after Eric Sloane celebrated his 80th birthday he died on the steps of the Plaza Hotel in New York City He was on his way to a luncheon honoring his book “Eighty: An American Souvenir.” Friends say it was the only time he was ever late. He is buried in Kent, Connecticut near his museum.

Eric Sloane’s largest cloud painting graces an entire wall of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. No doubt there are other maps and drawings signed by Everard Hinrichs. So keep your eyes open for this signature.

 

 

 

How many of you have come across old and humorous maps of Forest Hills Gardens? If you haven’t here’s a picture of one. Not only does it depict the lay of the land, but it also adds a little bit of history from back in the day. While perusing along the border notice various references to the Tennis Apartments and Adolf Weinman, the sculptor who created the Mercury Dime and the War Memorial in Flag Pole Green in Forest Hills Gardens.

 

Aviation-themed art by Eric Sloane.

 

Eric Sloane published various books depicting his love of his countryside.



 

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