The Artist and His Father Hunting Reed-Birds on the Cohansey Marshes (Primary Title)

Thomas Eakins, American, 1844 - 1916 (Artist)

ca. 1874
oil on canvas laid on composition board
Unframed: 17 1/8 × 26 1/2 in. (43.5 × 67.31 cm)
Framed: 30 3/4 × 21 7/8 in. (78.11 × 55.56 cm)
Eakins and his family frequented a hunting cottage outside Philadelphia near the confluence of the Cohansey and Delaware Rivers in southwestern New Jersey. Hunting in marshes requires intense cooperation between the pusher who guides the boat and spots the quarry and the hunter who shoots for the game; in this case the artist is shown expertly balancing the boat so that his father may shoot. This painting, proudly inscribed “BENJAMIN EAKINS FILIUS PINXIT” (painted by the son of Benjamin Eakins), expresses Eakins’s deep respect for his father, who shared his son’s love of sport and supported him during his early career. They remained extremely close until the elder Eakins died in 1899.
signed at lower right on bow of boat: "BENJAMINI EAKINS FILIUS PINXIT"
on back of panel: "Eakins"
Paul Mellon Collection
2018 - 2020: On loan to Chrysler Museum of Art, permanent galleries, April 3, 2018 - March 31, 2020

Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee, October 23, 2016 - January 5, 2017; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, February 12 - Mat 7, 2016; Shelburne Museum, Vermont, June 4 - August 27, 2017; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, September 24 - December 17, 2017.

Manly Pursuits: The Sporting Images of Thomas Easkins, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, July 25 - October 23, 2010.

Thomas Eakins Rediscovered, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, September 26, 1991 - April 5, 1992.

Thomas Eakins, A Retrospective Exhibition, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, October 8 - November 12, 1961, and two additional venues.

Shooting and Fishing in Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, May - June, 1958.

A Loan Exhibition of the Works of Thomas Eakins, 1844-1916, Commemorating the Centennial of his Birth, M. Knoedler & Co. New York, June - July, 1944, and three additional venues (cat. no 7, illus.)..

Thomas Eakins Centennial Exhibition, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, April 8 - May 14, 1944.

Thomas Eakins, 1844-1916, A Retrospective of his Paintings, The Baltimore Museum of Art, December 1, 1936 - January 1, 1937 (cat. no. 6, cover illustration).

Memorial Exhibition of the Works of the Late Thomas Eakins, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, December 23, 1917 - January 13, 1918 (cat. no. 43, illus).

Loan Exhibition of the Works of Thomas Eakins, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, November 5 - December 3, 1917 (cat. no. 15, illus.)

Lyons, Deborah, ed. The World of William Glackens: The C. Richard Hilker Lectures Volume II. Sansom Foundation, Inc.: New York: Distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc, 2017. p. 11, fig. 12 color illus.

Sharp, Kevin, ed. Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art. Exh. Cat. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016. p. 106, cat. no. 22, fig. 3.18, color illus.

Richard Powell’s “Wyeth Lecture in American Art” 11/4/2009 (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2011) at the 23.04 minute mark

John Wilmerding, “Peale, Quidor, and Eakins: Self-Portraiture as Genre Painting” Manly Pursuits. Writings on the Sporting Images of Thomas Eakins (Tom Frick, ed. & Ilene Fort, curator) (Los Angeles: L.A.C.M.A., 2011) p. 177.

O’Leary, Elizabeth L., Sylvia Yount, Susan Jensen Rawles, and David Park Curry. American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Charlottesville: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with the University of Virginia Press, 2010. (No. 67, p. 187-190).

Michael Clapper, “Thomas Eakins and ‘The Chess Players,” American Art, Fall 2010, Vol. 24, no. 3 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press in asso. with Smithsonian American Art Museum) p. 95, b&w fig. 14.

Cormack, Malcolm. Country Pursuits: British, American, and French Sporting Art from the Mellon Collections in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2007. (cat. no. 94, pp. 344-45)

Darrel Sewell, Thomas Eakins American Realist exhibition catalogue (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2001) pp. 241-242, b&w fig. 141, p. 241.

Kathleen A. Foster et al, Thomas Eakins Rediscoverd Charles Bregler’s Thomas Eakins Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (New Haven and London: Yale University Press in association with Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1997) pp. 13, 78, 134-136, 140, 171, 262-263, 373, 428, color pl. 10 (n.p.), b&w ill. no. 119, p. 135.

Alan C. Braddock, "Eakins, Race, and Ethnographic Ambivalence," Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 33, Nos. 2/3, Summer/Autumn 1998, pp. 139, 152, fig. 2, p. 140.

James Smalls, "Les Nuances de la Masculinité Différences Raciales et Désir Homoérotique dans l'Art d'Eakins et de ses Prédécesseurs," Thomas Eakins Painting and Masculinity (Giverny: Musée d'Art Américain Giverny is asso. with Terra Foundation for the Arts, 2003) pp. 99-107, b&w fig. 1, p. 103.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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