Thursday, August 29, 2019

Eakins and Crew in the Country

The great 19th American painter, photographer, and professor Thomas Eakins was fond of taking his male students for outings in the countryside near Philadelphia.  Apparently there were six "regulars" on these expeditions because there are a number of photos where six nude students can be seen.  This example is one of a number of studies for the famous Eakins painting The Swimming Hole, and that is said to be  Eakins himself getting some help exiting the water at lower right.


  1. Très belle série de photos, Jerry. J'aime voir tous ces jeunes hommes qui s'musent sans arrière-pensée. La nudité n'est-elle pas le plus beau costume que le nature nous a offert?
    Very nice series of photos, Jerry. I like to see all these young men who are muscled without a second thought. Is not nudity the most beautiful costume that nature has offered us?

  2. I've only done this a few times. Wild swimming as we new call it is wonderfully relaxing, but to do it naked is rather special..

  3. I don't think that this is in the country, I think it is on Peter's Island in the Schuylkill River. The island has been inside the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania since 1854.

    1. It must have been a large park or undeveloped area because there is a lot of open space and some forest on the bank in the background. Do you know anything about the locations in today's other pictures. Thanks!

    2. There isn't enough background detail on the other photos to help, although Peter's Island could be a wild guess for privacy. The stonework in this photo can still be seen today.
      Fairmount Park, which of course surrounds Peter's Island, may be the largest park inside a city. It is why the river bank in the background is not developed. It doesn't look much different today.

    3. Thanks! I really appreciate the details.