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Selected papers from the Peale-Sellers collection, [ca. 1767-1904]

Peale, Charles Willson, 1741-1827

Engraver, Portrait painter


Collection Information

Size: 7 Microfilm reels

Summary: Autobiographical and biographical material, letters, writings, printed material, photographs, a sketchbook, drawings and notebooks belonging to Charles Willson Peale and the Peale family, with notes and writings by Horace Wells Sellers.
Charles Willson Peale material including, part of the preliminary draft of his autobiography, ca. 1790, and a typed copy with notes and addenda by Horace Wells Sellers; typescripts of letterbooks, 1767-1827; a list of portraits and Washington portrait material; a notebook pertaining to paintings and a memo book containing recipes for medicines, colors and notes on painting technique; lectures and essays on natural history, health, domestic happiness and Peale's museum; and letters from John De Peyster.
James Peale's sketchbook; Rubens Peale's letterbooks, 1802-1824, lists of pictures painted at Riverside Farm and memorandum on his life; writings by Titian Ramsay Peale on techniques of miniature painting and a biography of Charles Willson; letters of Titian and Franklin Peale, 1831-1869, with biographical comments by Sellers; a history of the United Bowmen of Philadelphia, a club Titian and Franklin belonged to; material on Peale's Museum including, correspondence, minutes, articles of incorporation, and a handbook with a partial description of the museum's contents; Peale family photographs; and drawings and silhouettes.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Willson Peale: portrait painter and engraver; Philadelphia, Pa. Sellers: Peale's great-grandson. Peale studied in London with Benjamin West. Painted George Washington's portrait. Established Peale's Museum in 1786. Influential in the founding of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Father of Raphaelle, Franklin, Rubens, Rembrandt and Titian Ramsay Peale. Brother of James Peale.


Lent for microfilming, 1955, by the American Philosophical Society, Peale-Sellers Collection.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Originals in the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels P31-P37 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Selected papers from the Peale-Sellers collection, [ca. 1767-1904]. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.