Samuel Murray and Thomas Eakins: Walt Whitman in Camden, PA (1891)

In May of 1891, Murray accompanied the New York sculptor and friend of Eakins, William O’Donovan, to Whitman’s home and photographed Whitman as an aid to O’Donovan’s sculpting the poet: “they took hell’s times in all sorts of posishes,” Whitman groused, but he was excited about this profile portrait, admiring its “audacity” and its “breadth and beauty both,” calling it “an artist’s picture in the best sense.”

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution

The man, the spirit.