Director's Note by mudoc123


									                                  Director's                       Note

L                                        Eakins
       ittleappreciated his lifetime,
                      in                                          Burroughs also arranged for the Metropolitan to
        is today recognized as one of America's finest         buy two canvases from the memorial exhibition,
        painters, a respected sculptor and photograph-         furthering the growth of one of the most important
er, and an influential art teacher. This Bulletin accom-       collections of Eakins's paintings. Our oils by Eakins,
panies an exhibition of his oil paintings, watercolors,        exhaustively documented by Natalie Spasskyin American
and drawings owned by the Museum and a selection               Paintings in the MetropolitanMuseum of Art, volume II
of our holdings of photographs associated with him             (I985), articulate his development and include several
and his circle.                                                that are considered among his most significant. Perspi-
   Like the exhibition, this Bulletin honors the sesqui-       cacious purchases and generous gifts have also made
centennial of Eakins's birth in Philadelphia in I844           the Metropolitan a leading repository of Eakins's
and the Museum's early and continuing interest in his          watercolors; we possess seven of his twenty-eight
work. Eakins's The Chess Players,of 1876, presented by         known works in the medium. Photographs, which the
the artist to the Metropolitan in March i88 I, was only        Museum began to acquire in I941, enrich Eakins's
the second painting by him to enter a museum's col-            representation at the Metropolitan.
lection.Two months before Eakins's death in I916, the             The exhibition inaugurates the Eugenie Prendergast
Metropolitan's curator of paintings, Bryson Burroughs,         Exhibitions of American Art, which will focus on as-
bought his Pushingfor Rail, of I874, for the Museum            pects of our collections. Like Susan Macdowell Eakins,
and the following year organized a memorial ex-                the artist'swidow, who worked tirelessly to build her
hibition with the help of his widow. This one-month            husband'sreputation, Mrs. Prendergast donated to mu-
display, which maintained the Museum's pattern of              seums throughout the country works by her husband,
commemorating American painters, opened in No-                 Charles, and her brother-in-law, Maurice, and gener-
vember 1917. It provided the first overview of Eakins's        ously supported scholarly inquiry.The Metropolitan is
achievements as a painter and the model for the ensu-          grateful to Jan and Warren Adelson, whose grant in
ing memorial exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy            honor of Mrs. Prendergast's one-hundredth birthday,
of the Fine Arts, an institution with which he had a           in August 1994, established the exhibition series. Mrs.
more extensive connection.                                     Prendergast died on September 7, I994.

                                                                                                    Philippe de Montebello


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