20 Days: Two Eakins Talks
If you are anywhere near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway tomorrow, Thursday December 7th, you should know about two free talks on Thomas Eakins.
Anyone even slightly interested in this campaign should go to “Ten Reasons to Keep Eakins’ Gross Clinic in Philadelphia” by Philadelphia Museum of Art Curator Kathleen A. Foster. After paying general admission to the museum, find your way to the Van Pelt Auditorium at 11:00 a.m.
After decades of work on Eakins (including three books), Foster’s laser-like clarity on the complex set of artistic, medical and cultural issues culminates here. Foster understands the effort to retain The Gross Clinic as “fighting the decay of character of place.” Its the first we’ve heard this spin — and we find it on point. Philadelphia’s effort to keep the Eakins in Philadelphia (keeping context intact) is very much parallel to the struggle against Big Box store threatening America’s Main Street.
And at 7 p. m. at the Free Library of Philadelphia at 19th and Vine, hear William S. McFeely, author of the new book Portrait: A Life of Thomas Eakins. McFeely’s biography of Ulysses S. Grant won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982.