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Real Life, Ideal Life: Thomas Eakins, Eastman Johnson, and George Inness in the 1870s and 1880s

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Real Life, Ideal Life: Thomas Eakins, Eastman Johnson, and George Inness in the 1870s and 1880s

Location: James S. Copley Auditorium

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Guest Lecture and Tour Series

Speaker: Robert L. Pincus, Ph.D., Visiting Professor of Art History, University of San Diego

Robert Pincus will discuss the recurrent streak of idealism in 19th century American painting, even when social forces might have led artists not to depict life in the uplifting manner they generally did. This view is clearly embodied in the paintings of major artists such as Eastman Johnson, George Inness and Thomas Eakins. Johnson extolled the virtues of domesticity and community in such works as Woman Reading (circa 1874) and The Cranberry Harvest, Island of Nantucket (1880) and Inness evoked the spirituality of the American landscape in Farm Landscape: Cattle in Pasture – Sunset Nantucket (circa 1883). Eakins paid homage to domestic life, too, in Elizabeth with a Dog (circa 1871), but moved American art toward realism – and a diminished sense of idealism – foreshadowing developments in 20th century American art. Pincus will look at these and other works by the three painters, pointing to examples in the literature of the era as well.

See the full list of speakers for the 2017-18 Guest Lecture and Tour Series.

This lecture series focuses on works of art on view in the Museum and topics of interest in the broader art world. Lectures are followed by docent-led tours.

Tickets: $13 members | $16 nonmembers | $8 seniors and military | $5 students
Featured: George Inness, Farm Landscape, Cattle in Pasture–Sunset Nantucket, ca. 1883. Oil on panel. Bequest of Mrs. Henry A. Everett. 1938.31
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April 20, 2018
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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James S. Copley Auditorium
1450 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101 United States
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