A group of about 35 members of the Directors Circle of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum were treated to a lecture/tour of the American art installations at the Philadelphia Museum of Art led by Kathy Foster who is the Robert McNeil curator of American art. We saw the influence of Charles Wilson Peale and his remarkable family of painters upon the museum's collection as well as the wonderful examples of Philadelphia furniture attractively displayed in the vicinity of the portraits that illustrated the type of individuals who might have owned the pieces. Ms. Foster initially focused on the collection of portraits leading in to the American art wing by Charles Wilson Peale, Gilbert Stuart and proudly showed off the portrait of Yarrow Marmout,an African American Muslim, a freed slave that Charles Wilson Peale painted in Georgetown for his Philadelphia Museum in 1819. It was acquired by the PMA in 2011. Mr. Marmout was reputed to be 140 years old at the time his portrait was painted and Mr. Peale wanted a record of the personal traits that supported a long life. That painting alone is worth a trip to the Museum.
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