Active from the late 1700s through the early twentieth century, the Peale family was America’s first artistic dynasty. This overview of the art of the Peales presents more than 150 works in a variety of media from the museum’s renowned collection. With discussions of famous masterworks, such as Charles Willson Peale’s Staircase Group and Raphaelle Peale’s still lifes, as well as lesser-known but engaging pictures like Rubens Peale’s English Magpie Eating Cake, Carol Eaton Soltis traces the family’s history and reveals how the Peales’ energy, innovation, and entrepreneurship paved the way for generations of American artists.
Rigorously researched and generously illustrated, The Art of the Peales is an essential and wide-ranging study that considers the family’s substantial output and contextualizes their historical legacy. Examining the ways that the Peales instructed, influenced, supported, and competed with one another, this book is full of revelations on a family that remained a transformative force in America’s cultural life for more than a century.