Thomas Eakins Rediscovered

Charles Bregler`s Thomas Eakins Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Kathleen A. Foster

View Inside Price: $125.00


January 21, 1998
496 pages, 8 1/2 x 11
500 b/w + 16 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300061741
Cloth

Published in association with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

More than fifty years ago, a treasury of studio material—including oil sketches, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and manuscripts—was rescued from the empty house of Thomas Eakins by a devoted student, Charles Bregler. Deemed worthless then, the "rubbish" Bregler reverently saved has only recently become recognized as an important source of information about the life and working habits of one of Americas greatest artists. This book is both a catalogue of the Bregler collection and a reassessment of Eakins’s career as read through the newly discovered materials.

Kathleen A. Foster builds on the strengths of the collection to characterize the training, teaching, and studio practices of a nineteenth-century academic realist. Tracing Eakins’s artistic education, she looks to sources in both Philadelphia and Paris that shaped his seemingly uncontrived American style. Foster analyzes Eakins’s habits as a draftsman, unlocking his famous perspective drawings to reveal his idiosyncratic practices. She examines his innovation as a watercolorist and photographer and describes his distinctive academic procedures in oil paint and clay. Foster then investigates a series of Eakins’s best known projects, from the early sporting paintings to the late portraits, to explain the sequence of his method, the development of his imagery, and the meaning that emerges from the interaction of subject and technique.

Published in association with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

Kathleen A. Foster is curator of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art at the Indiana University Art Museum and a member of the graduate faculty at Indiana University.

"A brilliant book that interweaves the newly discovered material in the Bregler collection and the authors great expertise to provide fresh insights into Eakins's work."—H. Barbara Weinberg, Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, Metropolitan Museum of Art

"Foster has composed an excellent catalog that corresponds neatly with Eakins's own meticulous style and will be an indispensably valuable resource to any serious student of drawing. A superb new title for academic and large public libraries."—Library Journal

"A prime example of artwork sleuthing, the result a greater appreciation and understanding of the man and his evolution."—Art Times

"There are excellent discussions of [Thomas Eakins'] technical perspective, elaborate preparations, and thorough processes, along with his photography and sculpture. The Bregler catalog offers new insights into the artist and into many familiar paintings."—W.L. Whitwell, Choice

"Kathleen A. Foster's superb, complex book on the artist more than lives up to the challenge of its title: Thomas Eakins Rediscovered. . . . The fact is that this is an important book."—Marc Simpson, Burlington Magazine

"As instructive as they are enlightening and, like the best art books, compel their readers to think even as they invite us to relax and luxuriate in the sheer delight of looking."—The Wall Street Journal

"A brilliant book that interweaves the newly discovered material in the Bregler collection and the authors great expertise to provide fresh insights into Eakins’s work."—H. Barbara Weinberg, Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, Metropolitan Museum of Art

"An excellent catalog that corresponds neatly with Eakins's own meticulous style and will be an indispensably valuable resource to any serious student of drawing. A superb new title for academic and large public libraries."—Library Journal

"Instructive. . . . Entertaining."—Wall Street Journal

"Methodically studying each visual object in the collection, they have provided the reader with freshly drawn insights into selected aspects of Eakins life and into a better understanding of some of his best known works. Thomas Eakins Rediscovered is an exemplar of the highest level of modern artistic scholarship: one which significantly incorporates an interdisciplinary approach into its materials and its subject."—Irwin Richman, Pennsylvania History

Co-winner of the 2000 Eric Mitchell Prize for the History of Art
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