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Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins

For a Most Merry and Illustrated History of the Life and Times of Thomas Eakins click here.

Now considered one of America's greatest painters, in his own time he sold virtually nothing and his paintings (and life) were distinctly controversial. What's really odd is that even until recently hardly any one - American or otherwise - even knew who the heck Tom was.

But now, after a hundred years, Tom has achieved true artistic fame! One of his paintings was sold for the amount of money that would properly feed a third world family of six for over - get this - five thousand years. Yes, that's a family of six for about five THOUSAND years!

And who sold the painting? A fat cat multi-billionaire? A heavily endowed (no wisecracks, please) museum?

Nope, it was major metropolitan hospital. They bought it for about $200 in the late 1800's. The new selling price was $68,000,000. That's 34,000,000 % profit!

Think that money will be used to reduce health care costs? Like Big Jake said, "Not hardly!"