What can you tell me about this?
That's a really interesting piece by a female artist named Dottie Attie. It's one in a series of works she made, looking back at "master" artists (all male).
This piece is a reference to two famous works by the 19th century Philadelphia artist Thomas Eakins. Both works date ca. 1875-76 and are very famous works by Eakins. The painting at the top of the grouping (the man with the oars) depicts Eakins' painting of the rower, Max Schmitt, in his scull on the Schuykill River.
The other is a large scene called "The Gross Clinic," which shows a doctor demonstrating a surgical procedure to students. Two details from the Eakins painting are re-created by Attie: the 2 bloody hands with scalpels.
The title is "Barred from the Studio," and the texts she includes refer to something that happened in Eakins career. In the 1870s, women art students were still not allowed to study from male nude models. Eakins found that rule ridiculous, and one day he removed the loincloth from a male model in the studio so that women could view his entire body. Because of this act, he lost his teaching job at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Can you tell me about these?
Sure! Dotty Attie is a painter, photographer and printmaker who is perhaps most well known for her feminist reworkings of Old Master paintings. This work appropriates details from two paintings by the artist Thomas Eakins, 'The Gross Clinic' and 'The Champion Single Sculls'.
Attie has juxtaposed these details with text recounting a controversial event in Eakins's professional career, when he allowed female students to sketch from a live, nude male model and consequently lost his teaching position.
With this work she is encouraging the viewer to actively think about hypocrisy in American society (why do we allow images of violence against the human body but condemn nudity?) as well as gender discrimination in the art world.
If you're curious, you can see a work by Thomas Eakins himself that shows an artist working from a live female nude in his studio in that same gallery. The painting is titled, 'William Rush Carving His Allegorical Figure of the Schuylkill River."
I’d love to know more about this piece’s context!
his is an interesting one! This work appropriates details from two paintings by 19th-century American painter Thomas Eakins, and the text addresses a controversial event during his career.
Eakins had risen to the position of director of the prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1886, women were enrolled in the Academy, but were not allowed in the studio with nude, male models (thus the title, “Barred from the Studio”). Eakins, a firm believer in the study of anatomy in art, invited the female students in, but was subsequently asked to resign.
Dottie Attie is bringing attention the struggles that women artists have faced and championing Eakins's decision despite its consequences.
What was Eakins's "impulsive gesture"?
The text in this work refers to a controversial event in Eakins' professional career when he allowed female students to sketch from a live, nude male model. He consequently lost his teaching position.
So the scalpel and blood are not related?
hey are related, but don't necessarily represent the incident in question. These images of surgical procedures are drawn from one of Eakins's paintings of an anatomy lesson and thus relate directly to his championing of the study of anatomy in art. Attie is encouraging the viewer to contemplate the hypocrisy in American society when it comes to easy acceptance of images of violence and condemnation of nudity, as well as gender discrimination in the art world.