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Back Soliciting the Nude
Study of a Seated Nude Woman Wearing Mask Naked Series: female with dark mask
The Life Schools are in great need of good female models. I desire that an advertisement similar to the following be inserted into the Public Ledger: "Wanted Female Models for the Life Schools of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts... Applicants should be of respectability and may on all occasions be accompanied by their mothers or other female relatives. Terms $1 per hour." The privilege of wearing a mask might also be conceded and advertised. The publicity thus given in a reputable newspaper at the instance of an institution like the Academy will insure in these times a great number of applicants among whom will be found beautiful ones with forms fit to be studied.
Thomas Eakins
letter to the Pennsylvania Academy's Committee on Instruction:
It was always a problem for him and I think it's one of the ways that he got into trouble at the academy, because he began to use his own students as models. Young women who understood the culture of the art school and were willing to pose in the nude. But this was not acceptable, it was not acceptable to the parents, it was not acceptable to the board and so it got him into a lot of trouble. It's an example of where his expectations in Paris led to disappointment and frustration in Philadelphia. KATHLEEN A. FOSTER, Ph.D.
Curator, Indiana University Art Museum
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Please Note: This web site contains several black and white archival photographs of nude male and female models, including some photographs of Eakins himself.

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