Charles Wilson Peale Art and Selfhood in the Early Republic
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Description: Son of a convicted felon whose early death left the family impoverished, Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827) went on to lead a staggeringly full and successful life. A portrait painter who produced an unparalleled body of work, including the iconicThe Artist in His Museum,Peale was also a revolutionary soldier, a radical activist, an impresario of moving pictures, a natural historian, an inventor, and the proprietor of one of the first modern museums. His many other interests included a lifelong preoccupation with writing; in fact, his autobiography is one of the first examples of the genre in the United States. David C. Ward's engaging book, richly textured with references to the history and culture of the time, is the first full critical biography of Peale. It links the artist's autobiography to his painting, illuminating the man, his art, and his times. Peale emerges for the first time as that particularly American phenomenon: the self-made man. Before Peale's time, autobiographies had been written mainly as religious and confessional documents. Peale, however, produced his secular work to describe, not how God made him, but how he worked to make himself. This compelling study, drawing extensively from Peale's extraordinary autobiography, shows how Peale's life itself documents the development of American independence and individualism. Ultimately Ward addresses Hector St. John de Cregrave;vecoeur's great question, "What then is the American, this new man?" as he sheds light on one of these new men and on the formative years in which he lived.
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List price: $85.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 8/9/2004
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
|List of Illustrations|
|Preface: Charles Willson Peale: This New Man|
|"[W]hy not Act the Man[?]"|
|Forging: Charles Willson Peale and His Father|
|"This Faint Spark of Genius": Fortune, Patronage, and Peale's Rise as an Artist|
|"Application Will Overcome the Greatest Difficulties": Work, Career, and Identity in Peale's Art and Life|
|"I Scru[t]inize the Actions of Men"|
|A Good War and a Troubled Peace: Charles Willson Peale's Search for Order, 1776-94|
|"The Medicinal Office of the Mind": The Peale Museum's Mission of Reform, 1793-1810|
|"The Hygiene of the Self": Work, Writing, and the Englightened Body|
|"It Would Seem a Second Creation"|
|The Struggle against Dispersal: Work, Family, and Order in Peale's Family Portraits|
|"I Bring Forth into Public View": Peale's Secular Apotheosis in The Artist in His Museum|