Amon Carter print details


Thomas Eakins (1844–1916)

Object Details

  • Date


  • Object Type


  • Medium

    Oil on canvas

  • Dimensions

    27 3/8 x 36 3/8 in.

  • Inscriptions


    signed and dated, c. on rock pier: EAKINS 1885


    u.l. quadrant of backing board has attached the following labels:

    1.-small round yellow, hand written: "Box 4"

    2.-small white rectangular, hand written: "Rack 4 \ Side A"

    3.-blue rectangular printed: "8193854101" written in section marked "receipt & item no."

    4.-official white label from Fort Worth Art Museum with red logo, typewritten: Thomas Eakins, American (1844-1916) \ THE SWIMMING HOLE, 1883 \ 27 x 36 inches \ collection of The Fort Worth Art Museum

    5.-white with green printing, within green lined square: MODERN ART MUSEUM OF FORT WORTH

    typed: The Swimming Hole, 1883, by \ Thomas Eakins \ oil on canvas \ 27 x 36 in. , (framed 31 5/8 by 40 5/8 in.) Collection of the Modern Art Museum \ of Fort Worth, Purchase by the Friends of Art, Fort Worth \ f1925.3.P.P

    6.-White with black graffiti in u.l.: Thomas Eakins: Artist of Philadelphia \ PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART \ Philadelphia Museum of Art: 5/29/82 - 8/4/82 \ Museum of Fine Arts Boston: 9/22/82 - 11/28/82 \ Artist Thomas Eakins \ Title The Swimming Hole \ Owner Fort Worth Art Museum \ No. EAK # 11.1 Cat. # 100 \ Attributution is that of the owner.

    l.l., label with domino shape: THE NEW YORK CULTURAL CENTER \ 2 COLUMBUS CIRCLE, NEW YORK 10019 \ in association with Fairleigh Dickinson \ Artist Thomas Eakins \ Title Swimming hole, 1883 \ Lender The Fort Worth Art Museum \ Exhibition Three Centuries of the American Nude.

    on stretcher:

    u.l., in graphite: V.36

    u.r., in marker: 1925-3.PP.

    c., in black in k on canvas, attached to crossbrace: Swimming Hole \ Thomas Eakins \ 1883 \ EAKINS

    u.c., label: No. 37929 \ 18 [in graphite] PICTURE

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchased by the Friends of Art, Fort Worth Art Association, 1925; acquired by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 1990, from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth through grants and donations from the Amon G. Carter Foundation, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, the Anne Burnett and Charles Tandy Foundation, Capital Cities/ABC Foundation, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The R. D. and Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation and the people of Fort Worth

  • Accession Number


  • Copyright

    Public domain

Object Description

While serving as the head of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Eakins made the study of the nude integral to his teaching. He believed that classical Greek sculptors had based their art on firsthand observation of the living figure, and he sought to emulate this practice in the classroom, going so far as to encourage students to pose nude for one another as part of their studies.

Swimming serves as a visual manifesto of this practice, exemplifying his vision of a modern-day community of artists devoted to life study. The picture proved enormously controversial, drawing charges of indecency because the figures were identifiable as portraits of the artist and several of his male students (Eakins is at right swimming toward his dog, Harry). Although some students defended Eakins’s methods, others shared unsettling accounts of his aggressive promotion of nude study, and the artist was forced to resign from the academy the year after this painting was made.

—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023)

Additional details

Location: On view
See more by Thomas Eakins


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