The Ingenious Mr. Peale: Painter, Patriot, and Man of Science

The Ingenious Mr. Peale: Painter, Patriot, and Man of Science

by Janet R. Wilson
     
 

Narrates the life of the early American portrait painter who established the first public picture gallery in America and who pursued numerous other interests including natural history.  See more details below

Overview

Narrates the life of the early American portrait painter who established the first public picture gallery in America and who pursued numerous other interests including natural history.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6-9A fine and useful biography. Wilson tells the complex story of her subject's adventurous careers and large family in a lively style, giving equal weight to each decade in his long life. The narrative is factual and filled with detail, but Peale's energy and enthusiasm shine through the careful accounting of his days and ways. Reproductions of his paintings appear throughout; his stately portraits of Franklin, Washington, and other leading figures of the young Republic won him lasting fame. But it was Peale's interest in science that led him to collect fossils, animal specimens, and curiosities. His most spectacular find, the bones of a mastodon or "mammoth," was assembled and put on display in his Philadelphia museum. Several colorful incidents from the man's life in Philadelphia have been told in recent picture books. His museum and exhibition hall is the setting for Barbara Morrow's Help for Mr. Peale (Macmillan, 1990); Michael Tunnell's The Joke's on George (Tambourine, 1993) is about one of the artist's trompe l'oeil paintings. The Ingenious Mr. Peale is a carefully researched and attractive study of the "gentleman of parts."Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Readers of Barbara Morrow's Help For Mr. Peale (1990) or Tracey West's Mr. Peale's Bones (1994) will find the rest of this American dynamo's story equally enthralling.

"Enterprising" is too mild a word for Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827); trained as a saddlemaker, he soon branched out into silversmithing, carriage-making, and sign painting, traveled to London to study portraiture with Benjamin West, returned to found a museum of art and natural history, developed several inventions, led this country's first commissioned scientific expedition (to excavate mastodon fossils), and, like his friend Thomas Jefferson, become a gentleman farmer, while pursuing military and political careers. He also struggled to support his large family: 11 children lived to adulthood. Drawing largely from Peale's unpublished (though available on microfiche) autobiography, Wilson expertly illuminates the times, achievements, and character of this considerate, indefatigable man who valued his domestic life at least as much as his multi-stranded career, played roles—reluctant or enthusiastic—in several historical events, and for industry, interests, and breadth of skills, made Ben Franklin look positively languid. A perceptive, long-overdue biography, illustrated with plenty of Peale's own drawings and paintings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689318849
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
04/16/1996
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
7.25(w) x 9.31(h) x 0.69(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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