Thomas Eakins Rediscovered (Hardcover)

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

By Kathleen A. Foster

Yale University Press, 9780300061741, 496pp.

Publication Date: January 21, 1998

List Price: 125.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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

About the Author

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.