Thomas Eakins’ two medical masterpieces, The Gross Clinic, and The Agnew Clinic were both displayed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. This lecture series with Dr. Paul Sivitz examines Eakins’ use of a long-standing genre which he “modernized” (and the reason why The Gross Clinic was so off-putting to viewers at the 1876 World’s Fair). We will also explore if Eakins’ participation (essentially virtual, of course) in the Chicago World’s Fair contributed to the racial inequality promoted by the fair’s organizers.
In Class Two of the Thomas Eakins and the World's Fair Series Dr. Paul Sivitz dives into the artist's two medical masterpieces, The Gross Clinic, and The Agnew Clinic, which were both displayed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
The Gross Clinic was originally scheduled to be displayed at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia, but it was likely Eakins’ “modern” approach to his subject that scrapped the plan. A generation later, The Gross Clinic and The Agnew Clinic were displayed at The World’s Columbian Exposition (aka The Chicago World’s Fair) in 1893. Why?
Important Note: To help accommodate diverse schedules, individual class sessions will be recorded and made available to class participants for a week after each class takes place.