PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Thomas Eakins' painting of a surgeon at work, one of the greatest U.S. art works of the 19th century, will remain in Philadelphia, officials said Thursday.
"The Gross Clinic" had belonged to the Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University for more than a century. But the university recently announced the painting would be sold to the National Gallery in Washington and the Crystal Bridge Museum in Bentonville, Ark., unless local institutions matched the $68 million price tag by Dec. 26.
Mayor John Street said the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts will purchase the painting. A fund to keep the painting in the city has already received millions of dollars in contributions, and the museums plan to borrow if needed.
The proposed sale caused an uproar because Eakins spent most of his life in Philadelphia, and the painting depicts a prominent Philadelphia doctor. "The Gross Clinic" was originally bought from the artist by a group of Thomas Jefferson alumni for $200 and donated to the medical college.
The Crystal Bridge Museum, which has not opened yet, is a museum of American art funded by a Wal-Mart heiress.