Biographical / Historical
Seymour Adelman (1906-1985) was a collector of rare books, prints, letters, and ephemera in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was on committees and boards for several literary and artistic institutions, including the Philadelphia Academy of Art, the print and drawing committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the rare book committees of the University of Pennsylvania and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Adelman met Susan Eakins in the 1930s and became her close friend and promoter of the work of Thomas Eakins.
The Sartain family were a family of engravers and painters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John Sartain came to the United States from England in 1830 and pioneered mezzotint engraving in the US. Of his eight children, his sons William and Samuel and daughter Emily became artists, as did his granddaughter Harriet. His son Henry, Harriet's father, was a printer and printed engravings in Philadelphia.
Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) was a realist painter and educator in Philadelphia. Eakins taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and promoted a curriculum based on the study of the human figure. He was forced to resign in 1886 after a dispute regarding the use of nude male models in life drawing classes with women artists present. Susan Hanah Macdowell Eakins (1851-1938) was photographer and painter who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins, whom she later married. She devoted much of her time to supporting her husband's career. After Thomas Eakins' death in 1916, she painted prolifically. Her first solo exhibition was held in 1976.