An artist's exploration of life stretches from Europe to
Philadelphia and the Badlands of North Dakota. A century later, WHYY's cameras retrace the steps taken by the eminent American painter and photographer of the 19th century (1844-1916), Thomas Eakins.
Produced by Glenn Holsten, WHYY's "Thomas Eakins: Scenes from Modern Life" will be broadcast in both regular format and in High Definition - a first. HD is almost a must for such a film as the individual brushstrokes of this American master become visible. Blythe Danner, Tony-award winning actress of screen and stage, is the narrator for the film. The original music was composed by Philadelphia native Tina Davidson.
In filming, Holsten traveled to Paris, France, Seville, Spain, North Dakota and throughout Philadelphia to explore and film the areas where Eakins found inspiration for his work. Fascinated by the rapidly changing world, especially in Philadelphia - a center of industry, science and culture - Eakins captured the morphing times in which he lived.
Holsten's film captures the frank honesty of Eakins' work that many at the time considered rebellious and ugly. In recent years, Philadelphia scholars uncovered a rare collection of Eakins' paintings and photos, which enabled a richer study of the man and his art, and in so doing gave inspiration to create this film for the world today.
"Thomas Eakins: Scenes from Modern Life" coincides with the first major retrospective to be devoted to the artist in 20 years, Organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, "Thomas Eakins: American Realist" opens in Philadelphia (October 4, 2001 - January 6, 2002) before traveling to the Musée d'Orsay, Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The program, which has been in the works for four years, will have a national broadcast to coincide with the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art's opening of the exhibition.
WHYY's partners for this project are: the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania.
"Thomas Eakins: Scenes from Modern Life" is made possible by the BARRA Foundation, Inc.; The Pew Charitable Trusts, which support nonprofit activities in the areas of culture, education, the environment, health and human services, public policy and religion; and by The Dietrich Foundation.