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When I picked up this very well done bio the little I knew about Eakins was the wonderful scull portraits, the shad fishing pictures and that a vague scandal surrounded his name. Now having read almost 500 pages, I want to know even more and I know that there is a lot more to know.Kirkpatrick covers the whole life, giving balance to each stage. It is a full book. There is no "filler". The research and background knowledge of the author shine forth on every page. The author shows great restraint
An enjoyable history of Thomas Eakins, mixing in biographical information along with art criticism. This was highly accessible to somebody without an art history degree and made me want to look more at Eakins's work!
I had already grown to love Thomas Eakins' paintings, from visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, long before I began reading this 2006 biography by Sidney Kirkpatrick. I was actually a bit stunned to learn how disregarded, held in contempt and shunned by many of Philadelphia's other artists and elite Eakins was during most of his lifetime. Through it all though the author describes how Eakins held to his principles, became a respected teacher among a
Eakins is an artist I had, at best, vaguely heard of. This biography not only narrates his difficult life very well, it also shows how the conflicts that marked his career (by his later years he was basically blacklisted by the American art establishment) were largely the product of narrowing conceptions of morality in the United States (he was a passionate proponent of the nude as the foundation of art training and practice, something that other Americans insisted on seeing as narrowly and dang...
I volunteer at an art museum & someone recommended this, about an artist whose work we have in the collection. He was unconventional in life & in his work, both as an artist & art teacher in Philadelphia. He eschewed the traditional methods of teaching art & made students study anatomy, cadavers, pose nude for each other. This was during Victorian times so extremely scandalous then. His beloved father taught penmanship & that is where Thomas got hs start. He also considered being a doctor but ul...
I don't have compelling reasons to study his life however I admire his paintings. This reading is a quick-scan only. Thomas Eakins' paintings are accessible due to their photo-realism. But his portraitures depicting more of the inner lives of the persons instead of the decorous interior, clothing and implied status. This book is an essential biography of this painter and the people around him.
Not only for Philadelphians, but because it's crammed full of 19th Century Philadelphia history, it's especially for Philadelphians. Kirkpatrick tries to get into Eakins' head and makes the case for the troubled genius as perhaps America's best artist (of that age of course)...of any age (my thought).
A good story.