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Thomas Eakins
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Philadelphia, Pa.
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Philadelphia, Pa.
Painter, photographer, teacher. Most recognized for insightful, poweful portraits. Controversial teacher; a powerful influence upon Robert Henri. 1862-1866 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; 1864-1865 attended anatomy classes at Jefferson Medical College; 1866-1869 École des Beaux-Arts under Gêrome and Bonnart; 1869-1870 in Spain, influenced by Velazquez and Ribera; 1870 returned to Philadelphia, resided there rest of his life; 1872-1875 produced major sculling and sailing works; 1875 first teaching position at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; painted "Portrait of Professor Gross" ("The Gross Clinic"); 1876 "The Gross Clinic" rejected as a work of art but exhibited in U.S. Army Post Hospital at 1876 Centennial Expositon; 1877 left Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts but returned in 1878; 1878-1882 gained increasing reputation for instruction, for direct teaching of anatomy from human dissection; 1882 became director of Pennyslvania Academy of the Fine Arts; 1884 married his student, Hannah Susan MacDowell; February 15, 1886 four years' controversy over his didactic methods and use of nude models culminated in his resignation from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; February 22, 1886 founded Philadelphia Art Students' League with nucleus of former students from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts—this small group was active for the next seven years; 1886 during ten weeks in summer and autumn lived the life of a cowboy in Badlands of the Little Missouri (southwestern North Dakota); 1888-1889 produced "The Agnew Clinic"; 1896 had his only lifetime one-man show (Philadelphia); 1899 death of his father provided an inheritance with additional financial independence; 1880-1905 worked extensively with photography, including 1884-1885 collaboration with Edweard Muybridge in Philadelphia on photography of movement; 1888-1907 lectured at New York Art Students' League; 1892-1908 produced a large body of work including boxing and wrestling subjects and a series of major portraits, which received little contemporary recognition; ca.1908 health declined and produced no further major works. Sources: 1. Falk, P.H. Ed. Who Was Who in American Art. Madison CT: Soundview Press, 1985. 2. Hendricks, Gordon. The Life and Work of Thomas Eakins. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1974. 3. Homer, William Innes. Thomas Eakins: His Life and Art. New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1992. 4. Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1997. cms/07.14.97. rev 97.10.03