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November 14, 1986

The Agnew Clinic-Reply

JAMA. 1986;256(18):2519. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380180081022

In Reply.—  I am grateful to Ms Roberts, as I am sure other readers will also be, for identifying Nurse Clymer. With respect to Ms Roberts' second point, that of reaction to the painting, I quote from Lloyd Goodrich,1 author of a catalogue raisonné and Eakins' principal biographer: "The public reception of the picture was like that of its predecessor [The Gross Clinic]; in polite society it aroused a scandal, and when the artists' jury of the Pennsylvania Academy invited it for the 1891 annual exhibition, the directors refused to let them hang it." But that was not the end of it. The following year, when the painting was submitted to the Society of American Artists, the only art organization to which Eakins belonged, they refused to exhibit it. Eakins resigned in bitterness. It was, as Goodrich notes, the last straw.1 Moreover, the talk was that Eakins was