Rubens Peale

(American, 1784 - 1865)

Rubens Peale was the fourth son of Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827). Afflicted by poor eyesight that hindered his future as an artist, he managed his father’s Philadelphia Museum from 1810 to 1822 and his brother Rembrandt’s (1778-1860) Baltimore Museum from 1822 to 1825, before founding his own museum in New York, which, however, failed in the Panic of 1837. Rubens then moved to his father in law’s farm near Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, and occupied himself with agriculture, taxidermy, and the study of nature. Encouraged by his daughter Mary Jane (1827-1902), he began to paint still lifes in 1855, at the age of seventy one. In 1864 Rubens moved to Philadelphia, where he died the following year. REFERENCE: Paul D. Schweizer, “Fruits of Perseverence: The Art of Rubens Peale, 1855–1865,” in Lillian B. Miller, ed., The Peale Family: Creation of a Legacy, 1770–1870 (New York: Abbeville Press, 1997), pp. 168–85