12.0 th…Post..Eakins’..”E”
Posted on: November 10th, 2011 by dan 12 Comments

This is how Thomas Eakins would show  his mark of excellence when marking papers or works done his students.  Thomas Eakins taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and later became the Director of the School.  During his tenure there he had a unique method of grading.  We can be sure that he gave B, C or a  D to his students and even an A but if the work was exceptional the student received an large “E”.  It was almost like receiving a badge of honor.

Picture  by  Dan Breslin      ( #14 )

However,  his methods of teaching, that is displaying some nudity in his male and some mixed classes provoked  dissension  within the school administration.  There were some that sought his position, envied his popularity or  envied his rise in authority.  His enemies acted as individuals  yet moved as  a group. It all culminated with the board of directors on Feb. 8, 1886 formally requesting his resignation.   The following day on Feb. 9, 1886 in a very brief statement, Thomas Eakins resigned his position. The students protesting the boards request for Eakins resignation banded together and marched down Broad   Street to Thomas Eakins’ studio at 1330 Chestnut St.,  Phila.  Eakins did not make an appearance at their arrival.  Disappointed the students disbanded. During the student march down Broad St.  they each wore  large “E” placard  in their hat bands to show support for Thomas Eakins.  Thomas Eakins often used the large “E” as his moniker. I believe that he used it again, in 1898, when he an Susan Eakins walked intoEarls Galleries at 816 Chestnut Street, and he gave his personal approval to the     framing of his painting ,          The Last Supper. I can equate this signing event ,to driving into Pep Boys, requesting service, the clerk writing  down my instructions and then I sign. The personnel at Earls Galleries knew Thomas Eakins very well. The picture you see above  is of a stand alone large “E” that was inscribed on the matting used in the framing of  the painting, The Last Supper. ( The upper portion of the “E”  has some of the brown paper dust cover still glued to it.  Moreover, this style is just how Thomas Eakins would make his upper case “E'”s)

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  To avoid any possible copyright conflict we have been advised  by our legal department to forgo any content feeders  and make no direct link to social medias nor other web sites.  Our painting The Last Supper by Thomas Eakins might be the most important American painting of the 19th century. It is an AMERICAN  ICON.   All the material on this site is original and copyrighted  and we must take all possible precaution in protecting those rights.    Permission to make use of any part  of this website, The Last Supper.info, must first be approved and approval must be in writing  from our Legal Department.   © 2011-2012: DanBreslin

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12 Responses

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