Thomas Eakins - Scenes from Modern Life HOME
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Eakins Thomas Eakins North Dakota Badlands Photograph of Cowboy
North Dakota Badlands
Eakins' forced resignation for the Pennsylvania Academy scars him for life. He is deeply hurt not only by his expulsion but also by the charges and insinuations of immorality. Dr. S. Weir Mitchell is a Philadelphia neurologist who pioneers the concept of the "rest cure" to repair people from the wear and tear of modern life. His colleague, Dr. Horatio C. Wood is a physician and professor of nervous diseases at the University of Pennsylvania. Wood offers Eakins a stay at the B-T ranch, located at the edge of the Badlands of the Little Missouri Territory, now the southwestern part of North Dakota. Wood believes that outdoor life among the cowboys will jolt him out of his depression over the Academy scandal.
1887 - 1899
So he was on a very low ebb when he came out here. And I think what this experience gave him was a vital contrast to the constricting landscape of Philadelphia. This was a sanctuary that he would remember. A largeness of the physical universe. A hardiness of the characters that made their living on this soil that would inspire him the rest of his life.
Art Historian, University of Pennsylvania
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