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University of California Press
From the Back Cover
"Berger's original readings provide altogether new and compelling ways to understand some of Eakins's most well-known paintings." (Alexander Nemerov, Stanford University ) "This book is most interesting. Berger rereads a number of Eakins's paintings and makes use of recent investigations about the meaning of manhood in the nineteenth century. Man Made casts much of Eakins's life and work into new light." (Elizabeth Johns, author of Thomas Eakins: The Heroism of Modern Life ) "During the last decade, Martin Berger has been the most perceptive and sophisticated critic of masculinity in nineteenth-century American art. With this book he consolidates that analysis triumphantly--and extends its implications, first into a consideration of all of Eakins's oeuvre, and then into related discourses of sexuality, domesticity, and race. Man Made has useful things to say to scholars in all fields of American culture. In addition, it now becomes the most interesting book on Eakins since Elizabeth Johns's groundbreaking work, Thomas Eakins: The Heroism of Modern Life, first published nearly twenty years ago." (Bruce Robertson, University of California, Santa Barbara)
About the Author
Martin Berger teaches Art History and English at SUNY, Buffalo.
Often censured during his lifetime for his insistence on studying and painting from the nude, Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) is now acclaimed as one of America's greatest realist painters. Man Made examines Eakins's art and life, illustrating how the artist used his canvases to cope with the complex requirements of Victorian gender. Martin Berger reads a series of Eakins's paintings, ranging from early to late works, giving a nuanced and elegant examination of Eakins's portrayal of white, middle-class manhood. This provocative cultural art history treats these paintings in terms of what they reveal about Eakins's own identity as well as the nation's changing ideals of manhood during the final years of the nineteenth century.