His talents were of the highest order, his ambition transcendent, and his disposition to intrigue irrepressible.
Gallery » The Artist in His Museum, 1822
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The Artist in His Museum, 1822
Oil on canvas; 103 3/4 x 79 7/8 in. (263.5 x 202.9 cm.) Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA.
In a long day-lit room in the Philadelphia State House (now Independence Hall), Peale designed his Philadelphia Museum with a grid system of cabinet dioramas and cases for his wildlife specimens; above them he installed his
Gallery of Famous Men.
With a theatrical gesture, Peale presents himself as a storyteller, carnival barker, master of ceremonies, salesman, and modern-day Noah gathering natural resources. He is shown creating order, and ultimately, providing salvation through the rational display of educational artifacts.