Author Biography: Darrel Sewell is the Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Curator of American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Contributors to the catalogue include Kathleen Foster, Nica Gutman, William Innes Homer, Elizabeth Milroy, Douglass Paschall, Marc Simpson, Carol Troyen, Mark S. Tucker, H. Barbara Weinberg, and Amy Werbel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Though this book, a catalogue for an exhibition of the art of Thomas Eakins at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, after ten years remains one of the most thorough and well written books on Eakins, considered by many to be America's finest artist. Curator and writer Darrel Sewell has gathered ten other fine essayists to include in the this retrospective exhibition and each of the essays is not only well written but also is an example of how to present biographical information in a very refreshing format. This book not only presents fine color plates of Eakins' paintings, the very famous ones as well as the lesser known paintings and drawings, but it also is filled with photographs that greatly influenced Thomas Eakins as a painter of American life and of the anatomical studies of the figure in motion that helped inform his pulsating paintings. The 'scandalous' aspects of his life are discussed as well as the exploration of Eakins' rather treacherous life as a teacher. Unfortunately this catalogue from the hometown of the artist skirts the issues of Eakins' sexuality as one might expect that it would. But that is a minor flaw that subsequent book about this artist have corrected. In all this is a lushly produced catalogue with over 250 color reproductions of the work of this great master of realistic art. This book belongs in the libraries of all art lovers. Grady Harp
Anecdotes abound in reference to Thomas Eakins American painter, watercolorist, draftsman, photographer, and sculptor. He is remembered for relaxing after painting by working calculus problems, and shocking friends with stories of his nude models. A skilled portraitist he painted Walt Whitman. The poet said of his likeness, 'I never knew of but one artist, and that's Tom Eakins, who could resist the temptation to see what they think ought to be rather than what is.' Whitman's opinion aside, Eakins (1844 - 1916) is recognized as one of the premier American artists to appear following the Civil War. He traveled to Paris for training, and later chose to apply Beaux-Arts techniques to distinctly American subjects. His fondness for athletics is found in his noted scenes of sailing, fishing, and boxing. He is equally remembered for his then controversial paintings of surgeons at work, and remains a key figure in American art. This beautiful volume is apt affirmation of Eakins the artist.