October 22, 2015 |
Larry Berger started college thinking he might combine his interest in art with industrial design. He ended up going to law school, instead, a fortunate turn that led him to a long first career as a business lawyer with Morgan Lewis LLP and a second professional act as general counsel at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Berger, 68, plans to retire from that position by the end of the year - and, when he does, he will have many stories to tell...
June 19, 2014 |
The Gross Clinic , Thomas Eakins' 1875 masterpiece, is back at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it hangs when it is not at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The back-and-forth travels of this monumental painting, owned jointly by the two institutions since a dramatic public fund-raising campaign ended in its acquisition in 2006, have almost always been marked by something special: a complete cleaning and restoration of the picture, for instance; or its installation in an unusual setting, such as a 2011 exhibition focusing on the human body at PAFA, where Eakins taught and was famously fired for showing too much of the male anatomy to female art students.
May 12, 2014 |
Anyone visiting the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts hoping to see both of its Edward Hopper paintings will be disappointed. The academy sold Hopper's East Wind Over Weehawken (1934) in December for $40.5 million to raise funds for other art. Only his Apartment Houses (1923) remains. A trip to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on City Avenue to view its six Thomas Eakins oils will also disappoint. In March, the seminary announced the portraits will be sold to fund renovations.
December 7, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA Edward Hopper's Depression-era painting East Wind Over Weehawken , a bleak New Jersey streetscape owned by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for more than 60 years, was sold to an anonymous private buyer Thursday for $40.5 million at Christie's sale of American art. The price, which includes the auction house cut, represents a record for a Hopper painting and far exceeds Christie's pre-auction estimates of $22 million to...
November 13, 2013 |
EVERY horror movie I've seen has led me to this fateful night, to this dim alcove filled with strangers and stained wood, and to one unavoidable, terrifying fact. In the movie "Sleepover at the Mutter Museum," I would play the journalist, the skeptic who thinks he's seen it all, cynical until the very moment I'm heading off to the bathroom, alone, and I'm decapitated by some undead skeleton swinging a scythe. My character wouldn't make it. My wife, Niki, is by my side and that's reassuring for the moment, but she's more open to the unknown than I am. In the movie, she might try to befriend some malevolent force and become possessed.
December 13, 2011 |
It rises 16 feet in the air, stretching toward the skylighted ceiling of the studio in Old Tarble Hall on the Swarthmore College campus. It is black and creepy. Skeletal fingers reach out toward anyone passing by. Beheaded bodies rise from the top and disembodied arms float near the center. A foot-long scalpel thrusts out, arming a confident Dr. Samuel Gross, the same Samuel Gross memorialized in Thomas Eakins' great 1875 painting, The Gross Clinic . But in this Swarthmore rendering, Dr. Gross has heft and weight.
August 1, 2010 |
French philosopher Simone Weil observed that "the past, once destroyed, never returns. Its destruction is perhaps the greatest of all crimes. " That snippet of insight might apply to moving the Barnes Foundation, but fortunately not to Thomas Eakins' masterpiece, The Gross Clinic. Since it was exhibited in the Centennial exposition of 1876 (not in the art section but in a mock-up of an Army hospital), the painting has undergone five major conservation interventions. Given that several of these effaced history, one hesitates to describe them all as "restorations.
July 25, 2010 |
A vacationing Belgian radiologist stood rigid and transfixed in front of the newly restored Thomas Eakins 1875 master painting, The Gross Clinic , on Saturday, the first day of an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Perelman Building. It looked as though the doctor, Francis Cuigniez of Gant, saw himself as one of the Jefferson Medical College students in the painting, humbled by the man once called the "Emperor of American Surgery," the formidable Dr. Samuel Gross.
July 20, 2010 |
As a young conservator, fresh from graduate school, Mark S. Tucker found himself facing a humbling task. In 1980, he joined the conservation department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was thrown into preparations for the large retrospective of Thomas Eakins' work the museum would be mounting in 1982. That's when he first encountered Eakins' 1875 masterpiece, The Gross Clinic , owned at the time by Jefferson Medical College. "I did a very, very minor treatment on it," Tucker said the other day. "It had surface grime on it and I removed that.
May 2, 2010 |
Tucked away on the third floor of the art deco Perelman Building, in a corner nook hidden by a towering black screen, hangs what is widely considered the greatest American painting of the 19th century. Thomas Eakins' masterpiece, The Gross Clinic (1875), is resting comfortably in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's conservation laboratory. The 8-by-6-foot canvas has a semiprivate room these days, sharing space only with a small Rembrandt head of Christ. Seeing the painting here is almost like barging unannounced into a convalescent's room.