The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) often found himself the unwelcome target of
critics. Eakins pretended not to care, but the wounds went deep. His low point
came in 1886 when he was dismissed as director of the schools and professor
of painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, purportedly for
removing the drape from a male model in the presence of his women students.
As passionate about teaching as he was about painting, Eakins went into a
slump in which he produced not a single painting for several months. The crisis
was resolved, apparently, in 1887 by Dr Horatio C. Wood, a prominent Philadelphia
physician who specialized in “nervous diseases.” Wood prescribed
the “rest cure,” a popular therapy championed by Wood’s
colleague, Dr S. Weir Mitchell.
Southgate MT. Dr Horatio C. Wood. JAMA. 2005;293(23):2836. doi:10.1001/jama.293.23.2836