The Peale FamilyIt's no secret that art talent tends to run in families. In this country during the colonial era, the first family of art would have to have been the Peale family. First there were the two brothers, James, and most importantly Charles Wilson Peale. The latter was first a portrait painter, especially of miniatures, as well as a naturalist, who went so far as to establish the first museum in this country, kind of a showcase not only for his bone collection, mounted animals, and other artifacts, but for his own artwork, and that of his family as well.
And what a family it was. In addition to his brother, his niece, Sarah Miriam Peale, was represented as well as his sons, who, from birth, seem to have been destined (or pressured) also to become artists. His four sons took after their father to varying degrees, pursuing careers in painting portraits, miniatures, still lifes, and illustrating nature. This is hardly surprising given that their father had named them, Raphaelle, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Titian.
Contributed by Lane, Jim
28 October 1997