Monday, November 5, 2012

American Artist Anna Claypoole Peale 1791–1878

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791-1878) Elizabeth Bordley Polk Bend (Mrs. Joseph Grove Bend) c. 1820-1830.

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791-1878) was one of the 6 children of James Peale & Mary Claypoole. Her father, a skilled portraitist, still life painter, & miniaturist, trained her. She was considered a professional artist, when she still was in her early teens.

Anna Claypoole Peale by Her Father James Peale (1749-1831) 1812

In Philadelphia, Anna & her sister, Sarah Miriam (called Sally), began by helping their father with painting fabric for shawls. Anna Peale sold her first paintings, copies of French landscapes, at the age of 14.

Anna Claypoole Peale by Her Father James Peale (1749-1831) 1825

She is best known for her miniature portraits. Her uncle, artist Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827) wrote of her work, “Anna in Miniature is becoming excellent.” After working in his studio for a year, Charles wrote of Anna’s progress, “Her merit in miniature painting brings her into high estimation, & so many Ladies & Gentleman desire to sit for her that she frequently is obliged to raise her prices.”

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878) Marianne Becket

Anna Peale’s first major exhibition was in 1811, when she was 20. Her work was featured at the first exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She continued to show her miniatures there for many years. In 1824, Anna Claypoole & her sister, Sarah Miriam Peale, were the 1st women to be elected members of the Pennsylvania Academy. Anna worked independently in Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, New York & Boston.

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878) Mrs Nathan Endicott (Margaret Oliver Hicks)

Peale married twice. Her 1st wedding was in 1829, when she was 38. Her husband was William Staughton, a popular Baptist preacher & former president of the college that now is George Washington University. Just 3 months after Peale & Staughton’s marriage, Staughton died. She waited more than a decade to remarry & was 50, when she wed General William Duncan in 1841. This marriage lasted until Duncan’s death in 1864.

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878) Portrait of a Woman

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791 – 1878) Young Woman with a Book

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878) Woman in a Red Dress

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878) Anna Sarah Ann Beck