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Part of The American Wing
Thomas Eakins (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1844–1916 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Date: 1871Accession Number: 34.92
Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine)
Date: 1895; reworked by 1901Accession Number: 10.64.5
Date: 1899Accession Number: 06.1234
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Margaret and Raymond J. Horowitz Galleries
This gallery contains some of the most brilliant and iconic works in the history of American painting. Like the poet and journalist Walt Whitman, Winslow Homer (1836–1910) and Thomas Eakins (1844–1916) traced an arc from anecdotal accounts of American life to meditations on universal themes. Relocating in 1883 from New York City to Prout's Neck, Maine, Homer continuously observed and recorded the sea under different conditions of light and weather. After 1890, he generally abandoned narrative to concentrate on the beauty and power of the sea itself. American sculptors also celebrated New England as the nation's reassuring cultural bedrock. Just after the Civil War, Eakins pioneered the pursuit by Americans of instruction in the art academies of Paris. He then returned to Philadelphia, where he ingeniously applied to local, modern subjects the lessons he had learned from his European contemporaries and from the old masters. Eakins's psychologically probing portraits constitute a serious exploration of American character at the turn of the twentieth century.
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