Thomas Eakins - Scenes from Modern Life HOME
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Portrait of Benjamin Eakins Ornamental Script by Benjamin Eakins
Eakins seemed to have had an angelic childhood. An important part of that childhood was his close and loving relationship with his father Benjamin, who really provided stability and support for Eakins throughout his tumultuous career. Benjamin Eakins was a calligrapher and writing master, which meant he spent his days hunched over a desk writing patiently, laboriously, diligently with careful pen strokes on clean sheets of beautiful parchment. The kinds of things he produced were marriage licenses, graduation diplomas, birth certificates -- the kinds of things today that we rely on copy machines for were the work of calligraphers in the 19th century. AMY B. WERBEL, Ph.D.
Art Historian, St. Michael's College
They were sporting companions. His father liked to row. They went skating on the Schuylkill. They sailed on the Delaware. They went hunting in the marshes of South Philadelphia. And so all of the things Eakins liked to do as sports, his father did too. The other thing is his father had a real interest in art. He had a whole bunch of friends who were artisans of various sorts -- engravers or landscape painters who made their living in the printing industry in Philadelphia. So his father would have discussions about art with them and with Eakins. DARREL SEWELL
Curator, Philadelphia Museum of Art
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