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Thomas Eakins - Scenes from Modern Life HOME
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Photograph of Male nude crouching in sunlit rectangle in Pennsylvania Academy studio Photograph of Female nude semireclining on cloth-draped platform  Photograph of Thomas Eakins nude, semireclining on couch, from rear
SOLICITING THE NUDE
MODEL STUDENTS
NUDITY VS. OBSCENITY
The other thing that was interesting in the Pennsylvania Academy curriculum was the use of photography, which he used in conjunction with his anatomical studies. This was also very progressive, bringing the camera right into the studio, having the students model for one another in different poses so they could create effectively a catalogue of different body types, of different postures. It was important to Eakins that students understood the way the muscles worked, the way the body stood, the way the line of motion and weight worked in the body so they could paint effectively. The sense of roundness, the sense of weight, the sense of movement in the body. KATHLEEN A. FOSTER, Ph.D.
Curator, Indiana University Art Museum
I think Eakins was a great teacher for a limited number of students. There were a lot of students who couldn't get with Eakins' program. They didn't want to dissect, they didn't want to study perspective. Perhaps they wanted a career coloring teacups and photographs. Eakins couldn't abide that kind of ambition. He was only interested in the most serious students and also interested in students who were willing to pose nude themselves. He said on many occasions that no serious artist should be allowed to study art who is not is willing to take their own clothes off for the purposes of higher art when necessary. AMY B. WERBEL, Ph.D.
Art Historian, St. Michael's College
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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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