The Loaded Brush: The Oil Sketch and the Philadelphia School of Painting offers insights into the use of oil sketches to quickly capture a gesture or to deliberately study the effects of color and form.

Thomas Eakins used oil sketches both in his studio practice and as a teaching tool. Artists who followed were inspired by the visual poetry and potential of the practice and were inspired in turn to follow his methods. Others reacted against the method, but grasped the intent, applying oil sketching to expressive, chromatic, or perceptive experiments.

The exhibition demonstrates the depth and breadth of the legacy of oil sketching. Included are a number of rarely-seen artworks from the 19th century to the present, featuring diverse talents and styles depicting a variety of subject matter.

The artwork of PAFA alumni and faculty includes: Susan Macdowell Eakins, Thomas Anshutz, Cecilia Beaux, Alice Barber Stephens, Violet Oakley, Arthur B. Carles, Faye Swengel Badura, Arthur DeCosta, Seymour Remenick, Lou Sloan, Elizabeth Osborne, Vincent Desiderio, Bill Scott, Stanley Bielen, and Renée Foulks.