Saturday, December 29, 2012

American Folk Art - Sheldon Peck 1797-1868

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Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Woman Holding a Book

Sheldon Peck, son of Jacob and Elizabeth Peck, was born in Cornwall, Vermont. He married Harriet Corey in 1824.

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Anna Gould Crand and Granddaughter Jenette 1837
Sheldon Peck was an itinerant, self-taught painter. Although he did not sign his work, his paintings are distinctive and fairly easily recognized. Subjects often have piercing eyes and serious expressions.

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Mrs Murry 1820-25

In 1828, he moved to a farm in Jordan, Onandaga County, New York, and began to paint with brighter colors. He continued to paint half & three-quarter length portraits on wood panels and often added highly detailed settings and an occasional landscape in the background. In 1836, Sheldon moved to Chicago. It was here that Sheldon tried to find success as a portraitist, but the economy was working against his success in Chicago.

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Elizabeth Ann Ferris Preston c 1825

The economic panic of 1837 left few clients for Peck. It was then that the Peck family sold their Chicago property for a wagon & a team of oxen and they moved 20 miles west of Chicago to a town called Babcock's Grove, the former name of Lombard . The family pre-empted approximately 80 acres of land, eventually gaining a land grant signed by President John Tyler in 1843, having purchased it for $1.25 an acre. Here Peck became a farmer and community leader opening a school for his own & other children. Peck was an abolitionist; and there is some evidence, that his house was a stop on the underground railroad. At the end of the farming season, he traveled painting portraits, and used canvas instead of wood panels. He also made many of his own frames.

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868)

Art historians tell us, that Peck had three distinct artistic periods: The Vermont period (1820-1827), The New York period (1828-1836) and the Illinois period (after 1836). While in Illinois, Peck found success as a farmer, a community education leader and portraitist.

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868)

An 1840 census listed Sheldon Peck's occupation as farmer. The 1850 census recorded his occupation as a portrait painter, as he was working on portraits for a family named Tharp in Pekin, Illinois. Harriet Peck, his wife, was known to produce cheese for the local market. By 1853, the family had grown to 10 children. Peck lived on the family farm, until he died of pneumonia on March 19, 1868.

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Mrs Dodge


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) The John G. Wagner Family

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Phebe Welch 1837


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Mr and Mrs William Vaughan of Aurora, Illinois

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Portrait of a Woman 1825


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) William Botts Family

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Portrait of Miss Dodge

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Baby in White


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Mother, Child, and Dog


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Portrait of a Young Girl


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Frances Almira Millener and Fanny Root Millener


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Child with Dog


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Young Woman from NY


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Oscar Gilbert Adams


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Young Girl in Blue Dress Holding an Egg c 1825


Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) George Weld Hilliard, Brighton, Illinois, c 1849.



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