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Lunch at the Library: A Peale in Paris, Recovering a National Treasure

George Washington after the Battle of Princeton, Charles Willson Peale, 1780, Bequest of Jane J. Boudinot, 1927, Conservation courtesy of The Founders, Washington Committee Endowment Fund [H-17] MVLA

Join us for lunch and compelling discussion with Philadelphia Museum of Art curator Carol Soltis, who will discuss her work to authenticate and document Charles Willson Peale’s painting Washington at Princeton, now in the collection of the Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to France

This event is part of the Washington Library's new Lunch at the Library series. It will be followed by a special document viewing in the Mars Rare Books Suite. A boxed lunch (including sandwich or salad, fruit, pasta, cookie, chips, and drink) will be provided.  

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$30

You are invited to join Dr. Carol Soltis, author of The Art of the Peales and curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a presentation about her project for the U.S. Department of State to research, authenticate and establish the provenance of Charles Willson Peale’s Washington at Princeton, now in the collection of the Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to France. She will share the surprising “life history” of this picture and explain how Mount Vernon’s Conservation Center participated in helping to unravel the mystery. The video created by State’s Office of Cultural Heritage, documenting the project state-side and in Paris, will also be shown.

Carol Soltis

Carol Soltis has been a curator in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Department of American Art since 2006.

She holds a doctorate in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania and has lectured and written on a wide variety of topics in 18th and 19th century American art. She co-curated and co-authored the exhibition and catalogue, Thomas Sully, Painted Performance and curated the first authoritative exhibition on the portraitist and history painter, Rembrandt Peale, Rembrandt Peale, A Life in the Arts and authored its catalogue. Later, as a member of the Smithsonian’s Peale Family Papers, located at the National Portrait Gallery, she assembled a catalogue raisonné of Rembrandt’s extensive body of work and co-curated the gallery’s 1992 exhibition, In Pursuit of Fame, Rembrandt Peale, 1778-1860 and contributed an essay to its catalogue.

Her most recent book, The Art of the Peales, published by Yale University Press, presents PMA’s unparalleled Peale Collection of oil portraits, watercolor on ivory miniatures, still life pictures, landscapes, drawings and prints by fifteen different Peale artists spanning the 1770’s into the 20th century. Written as a narrative, it is designed to highlight the connections between the individual artists and their work. 

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