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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Artistic Ambitions: Cecilia Beaux in Philadelphia

In 1885, when young Philadelphia artist Cecilia Beaux (1855-1942) sent Les derniers jours d’enfance (1883) to the fifty-sixth annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, her goal to become one of the finest and most successful portrait painters in America was only a glimmering ambi­tion. Painted under the tutelage of artist William Sartain, Les derniers jours...
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