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 Thomas Pollack Anshutz  (1851 - 1912)

About: Thomas Pollack Anshutz


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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania      Known for: figure, genre, portrait and landscape painting, teaching

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BIOGRAPHY for Thomas Anshutz
1851 (Newport, Kentucky)
1912 (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania)


Often Known For
figure, genre, portrait and landscape painting, teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A native of Newport, Kentucky, Thomas Anshutz was known primarily for his paintings of female figures, usually isolated in a contemplative or coquettish pose.  However, his most famous canvas is atypical of his work and was an industrial genre piece titled "Steelworkers-Noontime," completed in 1882.

He became a long-time teacher at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts and had the dark palette and realistic approach to figure painting of his teacher, Thomas Eakins.

He arrived in New York in 1873 to study at the National Academy of Design under Lemuel Wilmarth.  Two years later, he continued his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy under Thomas Eakins and Christian Schussele, and in 1881, joined the Academy faculty as a replacement for Eakins who was fired for using nude models in female student classes. However, he kept in the curriculum the emphasis on anatomy in the tradition of Eakins.  In 1909, he became Head of the Pennsylvania Academy.

In 1885, Anshutz went to Paris to the Academie Julian and then returned to the Pennsylvania Academy faculty for the remainder of his active career.  He was regarded as a solid painter who did major studies for each canvas.  Noted students were Robert Henri, John Sloan, George Luks, William Glackens and Daniel Garber.

Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art

Biography from The Caldwell Gallery - I:
Thomas Pollack Anschutz, born in 1851, was a portrait, figurative and landscape painter. He studied at the National Academy of Design and went on to become the chief painting teacher at the Pennsylvania Institute of Fine Arts by 1886.

Anschutz important influence was projected more through his students than in his own work. He was generally not acknowledged until the 20th century. Anschutz's oil paintings often depicted a female in a contemplative posture. His most famous work, "Iron Workers at Noontime" (1882) clearly anticipates Realism, where working class men are shown in their everyday life.

In addition to oils, Anschutz also produced watercolor pieces that show an interest in light and color, often done on travel. He died in 1912 after a long and prosperous career as a professor and working artist.

Biography from Anderson Galleries:
Thomas Anshutz was born in Newport Kentucky in 1851. He joined the faculty at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1881. He studied under Thomas Eakins and Bougereau. His students included Robert Henri, John Marin, Frederick Judd Waugh and Charles Demuth.

His paintings are found in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C.

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