kenneth houck

kenneth houck
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
February 19
simply an artist, graduate Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, a Philadelphia Artist but with no pretense that art is inhibited by location. A pilgrim seeking the path more than the meaning; grateful to fine friends, mentors, teachers


Kenneth houck's Links

FEBRUARY 28, 2012 6:24AM

The Pickles of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine arts, part 1

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Most visitors to the Academy enter the historic Furness building of the Academy through the Broad Street entance, up the stairs, through the beautiful wooden doors and then up the grand staircase rising to "Art".Furness Building, Cesar Sanchez However if you are going to the school you do not take the stairs but pass around them to another set of door and enter the auditorium passing all the way through it and beside the stage where Thomas Eakins famously removed the loincloth from a male model and at least once pranced nude across the stage, you pass through another set of doors, down a dark corriodor and emerge through yet another set of doors into the apse of the school, a large horizontal cross to the nave continuing down to the Cherry Street entrance.

This apse holds the larger works of the cast collection including casts of The Winged Victory of Samothrace , The Lacoon, The River God, and a model of  The David. To your left, the most interior section of this apse the walls are lined by tall wood and glass Victorian display cabinets holding bones, casts of anatomical features, small models and other remnants of anatomical lessons dating back to Eakins.  The David and The Winged Victory are normally set over two large trap doors artfully set in the floor and there is a very disreputable couch generally occupied by students affecting angst.

If you happened to sit on the couch,perhaps to drink in the history and beauty of the collection, you may feel somewhat uneasy and for good reason, this is a fine location to experience a ghost if it is late and you are alone, as the young Adam Emory Slbright was one evening over the Christmas holiday more than a century ago.

I quote from my Albright in his self-published book, For Arts Sake in Henry Adams' excellant Eakins Revealed:

"...  an ugly hulk of a man opened the door and came in with a huge burlap wrapped bundle and dropped it on the floor. Then another, then a third. He opened a trap door, ripped off the burlasp and dropped one body after another into the hole.

"Pickles," he said. He closed and locked the trap, collected his burlap. "Pickles," he said again as he closed the door.

"A meaner man I never saw."

Adam Albright had met a Resurrectionist. I will introduce the Resurrectionists in part II of this adaptation from my website (shameless plug)

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