homas Pollock Anshutz (1851–1912) was an American painter and teacher.
Thomas Pollock Anshutz (1851–1912) was an American painter and teacher.
He studied art in Paris at the Académie Julian, and at the Pennsylvania Academy
of the Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins. His most famous painting, The Ironworkers'
Noontime (1880), depicts several workers on their break in the yard of a
foundry. Painted near Wheeling, West Virginia, it is conceived in a naturalistic
style similar to that of Eakins, although Eakins never painted industrial
subjects. Art historian Randall C. Griffin has written of it: "One of the
first American paintings to depict the bleakness of factory life, The
Ironworkers' Noontime appears to be a clear indictment of industrialization. Its
brutal candor startled critics, who saw it as unexpectedly confrontational—a
chilling industrial snapshot not the least picturesque or sublime." It is now
in the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Anshutz, like Eakins before him, became an instructor at the Pennsylvania
Academy, where his students included several painters who would become known as
the Ashcan School: Robert Henri, George Luks, William Glackens, John Sloan, and
Everett Shinn. Among his other notable students were Charles Demuth, John Marin,
Arthur B. Carles, Paul-Jean Martel and Charles Sheeler.
As a teacher, Anshutz, according to art historian Sanford Schwartz, "was known
as much for his approachability as his sarcasm, which apparently wasn't of the
withering variety." Towards the end of his life he proclaimed himself a
socialist. He died in 1912.
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