Charles Willson Peale, despite his devotion to the taxonomic and contemplative majesty of the natural world, nevertheless loved novelties and used all sorts of amusements to attract customers to his museum. He eventually resorted to hiring a popular musical performer who played five different instruments simultaneously, using all parts of his body. Following Peale’s death the museum passed into the enterprising hands of P. T. Barnum, becoming part of his traveling circus — a romantic ending for an Enlightenment institution.
American painter, active in England; 1761—1831.
American painter, principally active in London after 1774; 1738—1815.
American painter; 1751—1801.
French sculptor who sometimes created his works from life-masks; 1741—1828.
American painter, soldier; created first American museum; 1741—1827.
American painter, son of Charles Willson Peale; 1778—1860.
Artisan, Boston revolutionary, militia soldier, foundryman; 1735—1818.
American sculptor; 1756—1833.
American painter of quintessential portraits, including George Washington; 1755—1828.
British-born painter, mainly of portraits, extended the iconography of the Revolution and the Founding Fathers into the 19th century; 1783—1872.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)