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An American Masterpiece: Charles Willson Peale's George Washington

September 3, 2011 - February 5, 2012

Charles Willson Peale (American, 1741-1827). George Washington, 1776. Oil on canvas, 44 x 38 5/16 in. (111.7 x 97.3 cm). American Art. Brooklyn Museum. Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 34.1178. Brooklyn Museum photograph.
For five extraordinary months, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art will be displaying an American treasure: Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of George Washington, on loan from the Brooklyn Museum. Commissioned in 1776 by John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, this was Peale’s second full-scale life portrait of Washington, and the first to portray him as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. Various aspects of the portrait, from Hancock and patronage, to Washington and the Revolutionary War, will be investigated.

Peale, America’s foremost portrait painter of the time, was also one of America’s earliest collectors and created one of the first museums in the young country. This is a rare opportunity to see a true American masterpiece.

This exhibition is supported in part by Diamond V Mills, Inc. and the Momentum Fund of The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

Exhibition extended through February 5, 2012!

To see an interactive, full-length portrait of George Washington, also painted by Charles Willson Peale, on display at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, click here.


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