Gross Protest in Philly!

The protest marchers are out to save The Gross Clinic, the famed painting by Thomas Eakins recently sold for $68MM to a museum in Arkansas funded by Walmart heirs. Philly residents evidently think the piece is a vital part of our local culture. Heck, I agree with them, but I’™m not all that [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The protest marchers are out to save The Gross Clinic, the famed painting by Thomas Eakins recently sold for $68MM to a museum in Arkansas funded by Walmart heirs. Philly residents evidently think the piece is a vital part of our local culture. Heck, I agree with them, but I’™m not all that excited, since few Philadelphians ever saw the painting.

It is a huge panel showing Dr. Samuel Gross in the middle of an operation on a patient’™s leg, and the painting is truly engrossing, but the commentary here in Philly is over the top. Here and here are some descriptions of the work, and here is an over-the-top comment by those protestors:

The Thomas Eakins painting The Gross Clinic is to art what Moby-Dick is to literature, said Stan Bielen, who helped organize a march yesterday in front of Thomas Jefferson University’™s Alumni Hall, where the famous artwork is displayed.

It’™s what Michael Jordan is to basketball, and it’™s a Philadelphia icon that shouldn’™t be removed, Bielen argued.

The next Allen Iverson, maybe, but not the next Jordan.

Meanwhile, Mayor Street is thinking of legal action to keep the painting in town. I’™m betting the precedent, established when Tiffany’™s Dream Garden was kept from the Philistine hands of Steve Wynn, will not hold. The charities in this town, meanwhile, are trying to raise the money to pony up to buy the piece.

Monday, November 20th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: General

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