"The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family" by Charles Willson         Peale

The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family Volume 4, Charles Willson Peale: His Last Years, 1821-1827 Charles Willson Peale, Lillian Miller

The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family
Publication date:
25 Sep 1996
Yale University Press
682 pages: 235 x 156mm
90 b-w illus.


The fourth volume in this widely praised series chronicles the last years of prominent American artist Charles Willson Peale, a time of struggle for the family patriarch and his talented sons. The documents in this illuminating collection poignantly describe Peale's travails as his own health deteriorates and as he and his family attempt to cope with the economic forces of the era--panic, depression, and financial instability. The Peales' desire to create for their young country a meaningful artistic culture through works of art and public institutions forms an important chapter in the American story.

Arranged chronologically and accompanied by an introduction and annotations, the materials in this volume disclose Peale's diminishing enthusiasm for agricultural pursuits, resumption of his management of the Philadelphia Museum with the help of sons Titian Ramsay and Franklin, and his important artistic accomplishments, including the famous self-portrait The Artist in His Museum. Meanwhile, Peale's adult sons were working to establish themselves in the urban centers of the republic: Rubens not only took over and enlarged the troubled museum in Baltimore, he opened another museum in New York City that flourished despite the depressed economy; Rembrandt gained stature as a portraitist in New York City and produced such handsome portraits as the "standard likeness" of George Washington, Patriae Pater; and Raphaelle, though suffering from disabling pain and illness, earned a reputation before his death as a master of the still-life genre.

Lillian B. Miller is Historian of American Culture and Editor of the Peale Family Papers at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

"[An] expertly edited volume. . . . The documents printed in this and previous volumes of the Peale Papers provide many such insights, enabling the reader to better appreciate the artistic and scientific contributions of this remarkable family."?John Van Horne, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Miller . . . has reached a milestone with the publication of the fourth volume of the Peales' papers, which concludes with the death of patriarch Charles Wilson Peale. . . . The series is an essential purchase for collections in American art and history."?Library Journal

"Miller and her colleagues have detailed once again an intriguing slice of Philadelphia's cultural life in the early republic, impeccably edited and handsomely illustrated. This is one volume that cultural historians will want to make sure is on the library shelves."?John Andrew, Journal of the Early Republic

"The series remains a model of careful, thorough scholarship, suffused with an editorial generosity and spirit of abundance that make the book an experience to savor. . . . In the end, then, the catalog is well worth its price, and it serves as an excellent record of the most complete, most impressive Peale family exhibit to date."?Edward L. Schwarzschild, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography