Click main image below to view enlargements and captions.

Transportation, Aviation, Art, Oakland N.J., Douglas DC-3. Airplane, Eric Sloane, Oil Painting, Vintage, 1936


Eric Sloane (1905-1985)
Oakland, N.J.
American: c. 1936
Oil on canvasboard
Signed by the artist lower right
Signed, dated and titled verso
24 x 17.75 inches, overall
30.25 x 24.25 inches, frame

To see other Eric Sloane artwork on our site, search our site.

A Douglas DC-3  twin-engine metal monoplane, viewed from below, flies over a field bordered by trees, against a backdrop of yellow and greenish-gray clouds suggestive of sunrise or sunset. The large, low, cumulus cloud, with its salmon-colored shadows and golden highlights, is as visually striking as the airplane in the foreground. Thus, the painting combines two characteristics that the artist, Eric Sloane is particularly well known for — aviation and interesting colorful cloud formations. Presumably the painting was commissioned from Sloane by the owner or pilot of the plane and was based on sketches made in Oakland, New Jersey, located in Bergen County. At the time this was painted, we can find no evidence of an airfield in Oakland, but there were major airports in that area including Newark Airport and Hadley Field.

Product Description Continues Below


Northern New Jersey, near New York City, holds an important place in early aviation history. The Newark Airport was the first great commercial airport in the United States. It opened in 1928, with the first hard-surfaced landing strip of any U.S. commercial airport, and by 1930 it was the busiest airport in the nation and the New York metropolitan area terminus for airmail service. It remained the leading U.S. airport until what is now known as LaGuardia Airport opened in 1939, attracting some of the major airlines serving New York City. During the 1930s, the other major airport in the region was Hadley Field in Piscataway Township, which opened in 1924.

Eric Sloane was born in New York City. He was an artist and self-educated Renaissance man: author, illustrator, painter and possibly the first TV weatherman. Initially trained in sign painting and lettering, he left home as a teenager to become an itinerant artist, painting signs on barns and stores. Back in the New York area and fascinated by aviation, he began painting lettering on airplanes at Roosevelt Field in Long Island. By the mid 1930s he was making oil paintings of airplanes, which he often sold to the pilots who owned them. A few of these, along with a pictorial airport map of Long Island, printed on a sheet of aluminum, can be viewed on Sloane traded painting lessons for flying lessons with the famous aviator Wiley Post. Aviation led to a lifelong passion of painting clouds and skies, and eventually the airplanes vanished from his compositions as he focused solely on the clouds formations.

Inscription verso: “Eric Sloane/ Oakland N.J./ 1936.”

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Recently professionally cleaned and revarnished, with minor abrasions restored. Old frame, possibly original, with the usual light wear.


“Newark Metropolitan Airport Buildings.” Aviation: from Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms. National Park Service. (16 November 2012).

Smith, Marshall. “A Short Biography of Eric Sloane.” Eric Sloane. 1 November 1999. (19 May 2009).

Additional information


20th Century