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Naked Series: Thomas Eakins

Circle of Thomas Eakins, American, 1844 - 1916

Geography:
Photograph taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

Date:
c. 1883

Medium:
Albumen silver prints (seven), mounted on card

Dimensions:
Image and sheet (overall): 3 1/16 × 8 3/8 inches (7.8 × 21.3 cm) Mount: 3 1/16 x 10 inches (7.8 x 25.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1984-89-3

Credit Line:
Purchased with the SmithKline Corporation Funds, 1984

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As a teaching aid, the Naked Series expressed a crucial element of Eakins's curriculum at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Rather than presenting the live models as ideal figures, Eakins sought a variety of different body types. Each sequence in the series, made up of seven sequential photographs of nude models in standardized postures, was meant to be compared directly with the others.

When the supply of life class models ran short, Eakins and several of his students posed for additional sequences to complete the project. He asserted that students who drew (or photographed) from nude models should be willing to pose themselves, and affirmed his commitment by appearing in at least four sequences of the Naked Series.