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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Thomas Eakins


Those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time know that I hold a special place for the outstanding artist and gay social pioneer, Thomas Eakins.  He broke boundaries regarding art, sexuality, teaching, and just life in general, and he paid a price for it, both professionally and personally.  We start today's series with a panel of five views of student model George Reynolds taken by Eakins.



 

8 comments:

  1. I share your interest in Eakins photography and his life story. The images he left behind are a great gift to all of us...much like this blog.
    Dylan

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  2. I always love seeing those 2 frontal images of George with that mop of dark curly hair, his beard and how well his penis shows with his dark bush. He was a handsome young man with a timeless look. He could easily pass for the 1970's, or even today. And Eakins was a terrific, very American artist.

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    1. Eakins and his models have achieved a sort immortality. Deserved, in my opinion.

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  3. A wonderful window into the late 19th century. Thank you for posting them.

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  4. Eakins was a controversial figure for several reasons, the most important one being his use of nude male (as well as female) models AND allowing his female students to draw/paint the nude males. It was considered scandalous to take on females as students, but to allow them to be in the same room with a nude man and draw him was immortal if not illegal. Lots of organizations banished him and his work, mostly for this reason. His bisexuality (he married a female student at 40) is seldom mentioned, even though he was known to have had an intense relationship with sculptor Samuel Murray.

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    1. Only in the very late 20th Century did some of Eakins' writings about Sam Murray come to light, revealing that they were indeed lovers. I can't find the link right now, but I've read the passages, and there's no doubt. The reason that it took so long was that the papers were among someone else's voluminous archive and not that of either Eakins or Sam Murray. Eakins' relationship with his wife was puzzling to a lot of people, then and now.

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