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Exhibitions Home | Current | Upcoming | Past | Virtual

Charles Willson Peale and His World

October 29, 1982 – January 2, 1983

Museum: Portrait Gallery

Location: 1st Floor

On view are paintings, natural history specimens, and inventions in an exhibition which celebrates the achievements of this 18th-century Renaissance man, as artist, natural scientist, and inventor. Paintings on view include Peale's portraits of Revolutionary War leaders and their European supporters (among these are three of Washington) and portraits of Peale family members as well as landscapes, historical works, and trompe l'oeil. Among many specimens from the Philadelphia Museum, founded by Peale as the first Museum of Natural History in North America, are the bones of a mastodon (which he excavated in New York state), a bald eagle, an American turkey, and American Indian artifacts. Among the items on view to illustrate his achievements as an inventor is a replica of a model for a wooden truss bridge for which he received a patent.

Jointly organized by NPG, the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX, and the Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY, the exhibition traveled to Amon Carter Museum and the Metropolitan Museum after leaving the Smithsonian.

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