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Thanks to the grass roots for helping keep Eakins here!


We got an email last night from the organizers of the grass roots movement to keep the Gross Clinic in Philly. Congratulations to all on this big fish/little fish effort that actually worked! And to see photos of some of the organizers in action, see Libby’s post from the group’s first rally.

Dear Friends, It has just been announced that Thomas Eakins’ masterpiece “The Gross Clinic” will be staying in Philadelphia where it belongs, front and center at the Philadelphia Museum of Art/PAFA!!!!

Today (Thursday, Dec. 21), Stanley Bielen (the main force behing the “grass roots” effort, along with Patrick Connors, who is in Ireland right now, and Bill Patterson from the Sketch Club)and I were invited to attend a “victory party” at the law firm Dilworth Paxton, who helped broker the deal between consortiums of bankers, politicians, and philanthropists. We brought up my as-yet-unfinished full-sized copy of “The Gross Clinic’ to serve as a visual aid/rally prop. For the past several days Stanley and I have been carrying this painting around town, rather like a religious icon, and setting it down in strategic locations to sell KEEP “GROSS” IN PHILADELPHIA buttons and dispense literauture.

There is still need to raise alot of money to fulfill the obligation, and you can make a donation by visiting I will also be selling the buttons (A little piece of Philadelphia history at this point) in Two Penn Center for $2.00 each (100% goes to fund, I try to be there weekdays 1-5 p.m.)

This is a great day for Philadelphia as we proved that we are a first-class city that can’t be bought out by a WalMart robber baron. We saved perhaps the greatest single painting in American Art History, Philadelphia’s “Nightwatch” the Moby Dick of American Art. Went to see it again today (at Jefferson hospital, where it will be on display for a bit longer). It is a grand old ashy, hoary, glowering epic thing…..beyond cool. Can’t wait to see it in the refurbished American wing of PMA, with “The Agnew Clinic” from Penn on long-term loan there now. Thanks to all who helped, and who can still donate to help the museum pay the debt they have incured to vouchsafe this masterpiece for our grandchidren. Bravo.

–Charles Cushing