Like AHT’s Bob Gleason, the artist Charles Willson Peale is fascinated by everyone and everything in the world around him, and they both enjoy collecting. Gleason’s Peale exemplifies the successful activist, someone who sets their mind to something and achieves that goal. Although apprenticed as a saddlemaker, Peale had a broken watch that he was able to fix, so he put out a shingle as a saddlemaker and a watch-repairer. Peale saw oil paintings, bought materials and taught himself to paint before traveling to Europe to study with Benjamin West. It was said that Peale painted people as they ought to be, portraying Revolutionary War heroes as heroes.
Peale had an organized mind and he knew everyone. After the Revolution, Peale was given the task of putting Philadelphia Tories out of their homes in order for Patriots to take possession, only to be attacked by mobs after the British occupation ended. This led to depression, but it didn’t stop him. Peale died carrying his luggage in the snow, returning from a trip courting his 4th wife.
Bob Gleason’s Charles Willson Peale is perfect for gatherings of artists, collectors, veterans, members of the Society of the Cincinnati and events sponsored by museums.