The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts: An Ideal and a Symbol

By 1805, the year the Pennsylvania Acad­emy of the Fine Arts was founded, Phila­delphia had achieved a large measure of political, social and economic stability. It had been the nation’s capital and contin­ued to thrive as a center of banking and commerce. The largest city in the United States at the opening of the nineteenth century, it was arguably the center of culture, with Boston its...
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“And Who is Eakins?”

By late 1912, in his sixty­-eighth year, Thomas Eakins – who today is frequently referred to as the greatest of American painters, notwithstanding more familiar names such as Homer, Whistler and Wyeth­ – was a tired and ailing man. The compact, rugged physique he had retained throughout his middle years had finally given way; first, briefly, to an almost delicate obesity; then, with...
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A Commonwealth Treasure: Brandywine Battlefield Park

Brandywine Battlefield now lies quiet and peaceful, offering no grim hint of the heartbreak it once witnessed and bloodshed that stained its tall meadow grasses. Two hundred and twenty years ago this autumn its tranquility was shattered by the cacophony of cannon and its fields trampled by soldiers – twenty-six thousand of them – determined to do battle. Today, this scenic region of...
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