Robert McCraken Peck: "Ordered the Cosmos: Charles Willson Peale and the Philadelphia Museum."
Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 7:30pm
In 1790, Charles Willson Peale announced to the citizens of Philadelphia that he was prepared to open a museum of "objects of natural history and things useful and curious" which he hoped might one day be recognized as a cultural and scientific repository for the nation. It was to represent the culmination of a long and distinguished career in art and science that made Peale one of the most remarkably versatile figures of his age. Peale's Philadelphia Museum, which flourished well into the 19th century, began its focus on the flora and fauna of the Delaware Valley, but quickly expanded to include other parts of the country and ultimately objects from around the world. It set standards for museums that are still applicable today. Using images of Peale's remarkable collections of paintings and artifacts, naturalist and historian Robert Peck will discuss Peale's seminal contributions to American art and science and place his museum in its broader cultural, artistic and scientific context.