Anna Claypoole Peale

(American, 1791 - 1878)

The portrait miniaturist Anna Claypoole Peale was born in Philadelphia, the fourth child and third daughter of James Peale (1749 1831). She trained under her father and began exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 1811. Her uncle, the artist Charles Willson Peale (1741 1827), took her to Washington, D.C. around 1818 to assist him and to further her career as a miniaturist. During this visit, they painted portraits President James Monroe (location unknown) and General Andrew Jackson (Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven), both of which Anna exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1819. During the 1820s she worked in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and in the 1830s she exhibited landscapes and miniatures at Peale's New York museum. She married the Reverend William Staughton in 1829, but he died in December of that year. Anna married General William Duncan in 1841. Peale was elected an academician of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1824, one of only two women to have been awarded this honor at the time; the other was her sister Sarah Miriam Peale (1800 1885). Anna Claypoole Peale was the last miniaturist of the Peale family and produced over 150 miniatures during her career. She ceased to paint portrait miniatures during the early 1840s when they went out of fashion and resumed painting in oil. Anna Claypoole Peale died at Philadelphia home on 630 Wood Street on Christmas Day, 1878.