Friday, March 31, 2017

Margaretta Peale

James Peale, Anna and Margaretta Peale, ca. 1805. 
Oil on canvas, 29 x 24 in. Pennsylvania Academy 
Margaretta Peale (1785-1882) comes from a prominent family of painters. Her uncle, Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), is probably the most famous in the Peale family. Charles Willson Peale is known for his portraiture of prominent figures, and also establishing the Philadelphia Museum, one of the first museums in America. Some of Charles Willson Peale’s sons (Margaretta’s cousins) continued in the family business of painting. They are notable for their still lifes and portraits, as well as their unusual names - Rembrandt, Raphaelle, and Titian - names of some of Charles Willson Peale’s favorite artists. [1]



Margaretta Peale, Strawberries and
Cherries, n.d. Oil on canvas, 10-1/16 
x 12-1/8 in. Pennsylvania Academy
Margaretta’s father, James Peale (1749-1831), was the younger brother of Charles Willson Peale. He was taught how to paint by his older brother and also worked in his studio. James Peale is most notable for his still lifes and miniature paintings. [2] He had six children, most famously Margaretta and her sisters Anna Claypoole Peale (1791-1878) and Sarah Miriam Peale (1800-1885). Margaretta’s sisters were acclaimed female painters of their time and became the first women members of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), which was the first arts academy in America. They were also among the first women to professionally paint for a living. [3] While Margaretta was not a member of PAFA, she still had the honor of exhibiting her work at the academy. Today Margaretta’s legacy is still overshadowed by that of her sisters, however this is most likely due to the fact that many of her paintings no longer exist.

Margaretta Peale, William Staughton, D.D., n.d.
Oil on canvas. The George Washington University
Permanent Collection.
Although Margaretta Peale was most known for her still life paintings, George Washington University owns five of her portrait paintings - possibly the only ones that are still in existence. The portraits are of William Staughton, Stephen Chapin, William Ruggles and Joseph Getchell Binney (the fifth portrait is an unidentified sitter). These four men all were presidents of the Columbian College, known today as George Washington University.

William Staughton was the first president of the college from 1821-1827. Margaretta was commissioned in 1866 to paint this portrait from her cousin Rembrandt’s portrait of Staughton (Staughton’s portrait by Margaretta is currently in the General Counsel’s office). Staughton had close ties with the Peale family presumably because he knew the Peale family while he lived in Philadelphia as a Baptist Minister, and later he became Margaretta’s brother-in-law. Anna Claypoole Peale was the second wife of Staughton and married him in August 1829, unfortunately that same year he died. [4] A portrait of William Staughton painted by James Peale in 1811 is also owned by GWU and can be found next to Margaretta’s portrait of Stephen Chapin in a small gallery in Gelman Library on the first floor.

Margaretta Peale, Stephen Chapin, D.D., c.1868. 
Oil on canvas. The George Washington 
University Permanent Collection.

Stephen Chapin was the second President of the Columbian College from 1828-1841. This portrait, painted around 1868, was commissioned by the Board of Trustees for the University. The board asked Margaretta to paint the portrait of Dr. Chapin from a likeness of his portrait owned by William Ruggles.

William Ruggles was never officially a president of the University, but served as an acting president three times from 1822-1877 during his years as a GWU faculty member. [5] Ruggles was a very influential person at the University, and holds the record of the longest consecutive period of teaching at GWU. Ruggles's portrait is currently in the Lenthall Townhouses.

Margaretta Peale, William Ruggles, n.d. Oil on 
canvas. The George Washington University 
PermanentCollection.

Margaretta Peale, Joseph Getchell Binney, D.D.
(Doctor of Divinity), n.d. Oil on canvas. The George
Washington University Permanent Collection.
Margaretta Peale, Unidentified sitter, ca. 1868. 
Oil on canvas. The George Washington University
Permanent Collection.























Joseph Getchell Binney was the fourth President of GWU from 1855-1858, and his portrait can be found in the the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University. His portrait was recently on view in our exhibition The Other 90%.

By Maria Gorbaty, Gallery Assistant

To learn more about the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery and the George Washington University’s Permanent Collection, please
visit our website.
_________________________________
[1] http://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/
[2] http://americanart.si.edu/
[3] https://nmwa.org
[4] https://library.gwu.edu/ead/ms0311.xml
[5] http://library.gwu.edu/ead/rg0002.xml#ref1109

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Glenn Goldberg Variations


Glenn Goldberg, a New York City based artist, creates paintings that are full of dots, layers, and delicately applied paint. While they are incredible images, his paintings have to be seen in person to truly understand the physicality and energy that he is expressing.

Within the gallery space, you can feel the time and motion of the artist’s hand “stitching” dots onto the canvas. By standing in front of some paintings, you will encounter an undefined space in which Goldberg is searching for what he calls “thereness.” This space will pull you close, until the only thing in your vision is the world that Goldberg has created. As the “thereness” pulls you towards the canvas, you may start to notice the exciting disorder of the layers and the human quality of the imperfection of Goldberg’s brush strokes.

On the surface, Goldberg’s paintings are attractive and beautiful, but just as Goldberg creates layers in his paintings, they are layered with meaning and ideas. In an interview on the blog Gorky’s Granddaughter, Goldberg speaks about several different concepts that he is interested in exploring with his work. Below are some of Goldberg’s quotes from this interview in which he tells us his particular interests, but it is important to keep in mind one of Goldberg’s purposes, which is, “If I am doing it in the way I want to do it, I too can look at these with a very incomplete understanding of them.”

When looking at one of Goldberg’s paintings, it does not take long to begin contemplating what the painting is about, or to apply your own thoughts or emotions to its surface. His paintings naturally take you to another place, which is one of his goals:

“I am interested in things other than physical utility,
like the utility of the mind, or ideas."

He’s also interested in those moments when ideas become language and words bubble to the surface until you can’t help but say something or ask a question. In voicing your ideas, a conversation begins, which Goldberg finds important:

“I like that important conversations can happen around
works of art or actions - mine, yours, or anybody’s.
Hopefully that is what we are most interested in."
A conversation may arise about the feelings evoked by his paintings. There is a sense of calm created through the repetitiveness of the dots, but also by showing repetition, he shows action:

“I am interested in action… action is another way to say
that I am looking for quiet, maybe somewhat mysterious,
action in my work, that is the way it feels for me.”

With this action, there is an awareness of the hand placing the dots meticulously on the canvas, tediously filling it with texture and color. It is as if Goldberg is weaving or stitching, and in fact his wife was a weaver:

“A lot of my interests, we can say, is in the
in between zone of craft and art.”


With such a large and detailed canvas, it’s hard not to make a mistake. A dot may be out of place, or there might be some paint outside of an outline. Goldberg does not despair or find the flaws something to cover up, but instead asserts that:

“I am interested in precision and flaw, like working together...philosophically, I am interested in the union of clarity and imprecision. So within all our clarity is flaw.”




By Maria Gorbaty, Gallery Assistant

Glenn Goldberg: Of Leaves and Clouds is on view at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery through April 14, 2017. More information is available at www.gwu.edu/~bradyart
Media Advisory: https://mediarelations.gwu.edu/brooklyn-artist-glenn-goldberg-show-works-interpreting-nature-gw%E2%80%99s-luther-w-brady-art-gallery







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Friday, March 31, 2017

Margaretta Peale

James Peale, Anna and Margaretta Peale, ca. 1805. 
Oil on canvas, 29 x 24 in. Pennsylvania Academy 
Margaretta Peale (1785-1882) comes from a prominent family of painters. Her uncle, Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), is probably the most famous in the Peale family. Charles Willson Peale is known for his portraiture of prominent figures, and also establishing the Philadelphia Museum, one of the first museums in America. Some of Charles Willson Peale’s sons (Margaretta’s cousins) continued in the family business of painting. They are notable for their still lifes and portraits, as well as their unusual names - Rembrandt, Raphaelle, and Titian - names of some of Charles Willson Peale’s favorite artists. [1]



Margaretta Peale, Strawberries and
Cherries, n.d. Oil on canvas, 10-1/16 
x 12-1/8 in. Pennsylvania Academy
Margaretta’s father, James Peale (1749-1831), was the younger brother of Charles Willson Peale. He was taught how to paint by his older brother and also worked in his studio. James Peale is most notable for his still lifes and miniature paintings. [2] He had six children, most famously Margaretta and her sisters Anna Claypoole Peale (1791-1878) and Sarah Miriam Peale (1800-1885). Margaretta’s sisters were acclaimed female painters of their time and became the first women members of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), which was the first arts academy in America. They were also among the first women to professionally paint for a living. [3] While Margaretta was not a member of PAFA, she still had the honor of exhibiting her work at the academy. Today Margaretta’s legacy is still overshadowed by that of her sisters, however this is most likely due to the fact that many of her paintings no longer exist.

Margaretta Peale, William Staughton, D.D., n.d.
Oil on canvas. The George Washington University
Permanent Collection.
Although Margaretta Peale was most known for her still life paintings, George Washington University owns five of her portrait paintings - possibly the only ones that are still in existence. The portraits are of William Staughton, Stephen Chapin, William Ruggles and Joseph Getchell Binney (the fifth portrait is an unidentified sitter). These four men all were presidents of the Columbian College, known today as George Washington University.

William Staughton was the first president of the college from 1821-1827. Margaretta was commissioned in 1866 to paint this portrait from her cousin Rembrandt’s portrait of Staughton (Staughton’s portrait by Margaretta is currently in the General Counsel’s office). Staughton had close ties with the Peale family presumably because he knew the Peale family while he lived in Philadelphia as a Baptist Minister, and later he became Margaretta’s brother-in-law. Anna Claypoole Peale was the second wife of Staughton and married him in August 1829, unfortunately that same year he died. [4] A portrait of William Staughton painted by James Peale in 1811 is also owned by GWU and can be found next to Margaretta’s portrait of Stephen Chapin in a small gallery in Gelman Library on the first floor.

Margaretta Peale, Stephen Chapin, D.D., c.1868. 
Oil on canvas. The George Washington 
University Permanent Collection.

Stephen Chapin was the second President of the Columbian College from 1828-1841. This portrait, painted around 1868, was commissioned by the Board of Trustees for the University. The board asked Margaretta to paint the portrait of Dr. Chapin from a likeness of his portrait owned by William Ruggles.

William Ruggles was never officially a president of the University, but served as an acting president three times from 1822-1877 during his years as a GWU faculty member. [5] Ruggles was a very influential person at the University, and holds the record of the longest consecutive period of teaching at GWU. Ruggles's portrait is currently in the Lenthall Townhouses.

Margaretta Peale, William Ruggles, n.d. Oil on 
canvas. The George Washington University 
PermanentCollection.

Margaretta Peale, Joseph Getchell Binney, D.D.
(Doctor of Divinity), n.d. Oil on canvas. The George
Washington University Permanent Collection.
Margaretta Peale, Unidentified sitter, ca. 1868. 
Oil on canvas. The George Washington University
Permanent Collection.























Joseph Getchell Binney was the fourth President of GWU from 1855-1858, and his portrait can be found in the the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University. His portrait was recently on view in our exhibition The Other 90%.

By Maria Gorbaty, Gallery Assistant

To learn more about the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery and the George Washington University’s Permanent Collection, please
visit our website.
_________________________________
[1] http://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/
[2] http://americanart.si.edu/
[3] https://nmwa.org
[4] https://library.gwu.edu/ead/ms0311.xml
[5] http://library.gwu.edu/ead/rg0002.xml#ref1109

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Glenn Goldberg Variations


Glenn Goldberg, a New York City based artist, creates paintings that are full of dots, layers, and delicately applied paint. While they are incredible images, his paintings have to be seen in person to truly understand the physicality and energy that he is expressing.

Within the gallery space, you can feel the time and motion of the artist’s hand “stitching” dots onto the canvas. By standing in front of some paintings, you will encounter an undefined space in which Goldberg is searching for what he calls “thereness.” This space will pull you close, until the only thing in your vision is the world that Goldberg has created. As the “thereness” pulls you towards the canvas, you may start to notice the exciting disorder of the layers and the human quality of the imperfection of Goldberg’s brush strokes.

On the surface, Goldberg’s paintings are attractive and beautiful, but just as Goldberg creates layers in his paintings, they are layered with meaning and ideas. In an interview on the blog Gorky’s Granddaughter, Goldberg speaks about several different concepts that he is interested in exploring with his work. Below are some of Goldberg’s quotes from this interview in which he tells us his particular interests, but it is important to keep in mind one of Goldberg’s purposes, which is, “If I am doing it in the way I want to do it, I too can look at these with a very incomplete understanding of them.”

When looking at one of Goldberg’s paintings, it does not take long to begin contemplating what the painting is about, or to apply your own thoughts or emotions to its surface. His paintings naturally take you to another place, which is one of his goals:

“I am interested in things other than physical utility,
like the utility of the mind, or ideas."

He’s also interested in those moments when ideas become language and words bubble to the surface until you can’t help but say something or ask a question. In voicing your ideas, a conversation begins, which Goldberg finds important:

“I like that important conversations can happen around
works of art or actions - mine, yours, or anybody’s.
Hopefully that is what we are most interested in."
A conversation may arise about the feelings evoked by his paintings. There is a sense of calm created through the repetitiveness of the dots, but also by showing repetition, he shows action:

“I am interested in action… action is another way to say
that I am looking for quiet, maybe somewhat mysterious,
action in my work, that is the way it feels for me.”

With this action, there is an awareness of the hand placing the dots meticulously on the canvas, tediously filling it with texture and color. It is as if Goldberg is weaving or stitching, and in fact his wife was a weaver:

“A lot of my interests, we can say, is in the
in between zone of craft and art.”


With such a large and detailed canvas, it’s hard not to make a mistake. A dot may be out of place, or there might be some paint outside of an outline. Goldberg does not despair or find the flaws something to cover up, but instead asserts that:

“I am interested in precision and flaw, like working together...philosophically, I am interested in the union of clarity and imprecision. So within all our clarity is flaw.”




By Maria Gorbaty, Gallery Assistant

Glenn Goldberg: Of Leaves and Clouds is on view at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery through April 14, 2017. More information is available at www.gwu.edu/~bradyart
Media Advisory: https://mediarelations.gwu.edu/brooklyn-artist-glenn-goldberg-show-works-interpreting-nature-gw%E2%80%99s-luther-w-brady-art-gallery







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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
"Found In Collection" or simply "FIC" is the way many museums classify the more mysterious items in their possession that have little or no documentation. Here at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery of the George Washington University, we do keep extensive records of our collection, but some of the items we come across in academic buildings or our own storage can leave us wondering. This blog is an effort to showcase some of the more curious examples and their stories, and to provide a glimpse of the great variety of art pieces within the collection. To learn more about the Brady Gallery's history, recent exhibitions, or the George Washington University, take a look at the links below.

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