The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins, 1875 (Philadelphia Museum of Art)
Save when you purchase the Art + History: Evening Encores summer series!
If you’ve not experienced Paul Glenshaw’s dynamic series Art + History, in which he examines great works of art in their historical context, now’s your chance. In this summer series, he reprises six of his earlier daytime sessions in livestreamed evening programs through June, July, and August. In each, he delves into the time of the artist, explores the present they inhabited, and what shaped their vision and creations, bringing the art and their creators to vivid life. Even if you’ve taken part in previous programs, you’ll find new insights in joining Glenshaw for another look at these timeless works.
Glenshaw is an artist, educator, author, and filmmaker with more than 30 years’ experience working across disciplines in the arts, history, and sciences. He teaches drawing for Smithsonian Associates and studied painting at Washington University in St. Louis.
The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins
Before the Civil War, there were few medical colleges and a wide range of methods of qualifying as a “doctor.” The war created a vast number of patients, and the need for professional, science-based training became paramount. Dr. Samuel Gross was one of the nation’s leading surgeons before and during the war, and when Thomas Eakins painted him in the operating room 10 years after its close, his reputation as a leading medical educator was unparalleled. The transformation and rise of American medical education were taking root, much as professional art education was at the same time. Eakins went to Paris to study, as did many other American artists and scientists, becoming a renowned professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Glenshaw examines the moment Eakins captured in his monumental painting The Gross Clinic, how it reveals what it meant to study art and medicine at the time, and how education in these fields became American.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.