Skip to main content

Charles Willson Peale diaries and exhibition announcement, 1765-1826

Peale, Charles Willson, 1741-1827

Engraver, Portrait painter


Collection Information

Size: 1 Linear foot (on 3 partial microfilm reel)

Summary: Diaries and an exhibition announcement.
REEL 3899: 26 volumes of diaries including daily entries relating to family, business, travels, sittings, Peale's museum and other topics.
REEL D9: A handwritten announcement for the exhibition of Peale's "Christ at Bethesda," March 20, 1821.
REEL N86/20: A diary kept in Philadelphia and Annapolis, May 30, 1788- May 5, 1789. Peale writes about working on his drawing machine "for taking perspective views"; about people sitting for portraits; techniques in painting repairing pictures; travel conditions between Philadelphia and Annapolis; the operation of his Philadelphia museum; recipes for preserving birds and animals; business and travel expenses; experiment in making bifocals; social activities and acquaintances.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, engraver, naturalist; Philadelphia, Pa.


Microfilm of 26 diaries (reel 3899) purchased in 1987 from the American Philosophical Society as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project. Material on reel D9 donated 1955-1962 by Charles E. Feinberg, an active donor and friend of AAA. Material on reel N68/20 lent for microfilming 1968 by Fordham University Library.

Location of Originals

  • Reel 3899: Originals in: American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, except for volume 3 (Huntington Library, San Marino, CA) and volumes 7 and 9 (Fordham University Library, New York, NY).
  • Reel N68/20: Original in: Fordham University Library.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reel 3899 available at Archives of American Art offices, through interlibrary loan and at the American Philosophical Society.

35mm microfilm reels D9 and N68/20 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Charles Willson Peale diaries and exhibition announcement, 1765-1826. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.