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Back Dissection
Photograph of Anatomy/Dissection Scene Photograph of Anatomy/Dissection Scene Photograph of Anatomy/Dissection Scene
PHOTOGRAPHY
DISSECTION
Eakins insists that all students at the Academy -- including women -- study dissection. Horses, dogs, cats and a lion as well as humans were studied in the dissecting class. Plaster casts made from dissected cadavers are hung in the life class studios.  
The way Eakins approached the teaching of art and artistic anatomy was very similar to the way doctors studied anatomy at Jefferson Medical College where he attended dissections. There are lectures by William Williams Keen where he uses a cadaver and a living model and a skeleton. That's exactly what Eakins did at the Pennsylvanian Academy. It's interesting that Eakins felt and wrote that he believed artist should have the same privileges as doctors. He wanted to be treated like a doctor and have the ability to use bodies in that way. I think that he took art as doctors took their medical work as well. This was an attitude that wasn't really shared in Philadelphia. AMY B. WERBEL, Ph.D.
Art Historian, St. Michael's College
No one dissects to quicken his eye for, or his delight in, beauty. He dissects simply to increase his knowledge of how beautiful objects are put together to the end that he may be able to imitate them. Thomas Eakins
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