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Friday, January 13, 2023

Circle of Eakins


It's New Years Eve as I type this, and I was researching Thomas Eakins earlier today when I came across a group of 20 photos attributed to "Circle of Eakins" from the Grafly Collection of the Clark Art Institute.  I had heard of the designation before, but this time there were notes accompanying the images.  These were made in 1885-86 and were most likely taken by Eakins' students under his supervision. They were all intended as studies and not meant to be stand alone pieces of art, but that is indeed what they have become generations later.  Two of the less inspiring (imho) prints from this collection were sold auction for $4000 and $4500 to help fund the facility to hold them.  Our first picture is undoubtedly some sort of scene, but I don't know what that might be.

 

7 comments:

  1. These all seem to be "ars gratia artis" shots. Tha models are not particularly suited to anatomy studies, the poses don't emphasize musculature, and the solo poses look "arty," IMHO.

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    1. Yes, I agree, plus they look somewhat beefier (that being a very relative term in 1885) than the students Eakins used as models a year or so earlier.

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  2. Goodness, Jerry, what a find. These are stunning. A bit of a time machine and, to me, rather moving.

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    1. David, I don't often go all aflutter when I find something interesting I haven't seen before, but trust me, I was over the moon on New Years Eve. And yes, it is quite moving.

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  3. partied out queens on Fire Island? Dee Exx

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  4. I definitely appreciate people like Mr. Eakins. It is nice to know that there were men in those early years that liked photographing naked men. I can't help but think that both the photographer and the models thoroughly enjoyed these sessions.

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    1. I agree about the enjoyment factor. In some photos the models are obviously having a great time. Even Eakins occasionally cracks a smile on camera, something unusual in those days when photos were a rare and expensive item.

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