As colonists accumulated more wealth, the desire for more genteel, that is, more English, lifestyles led to the encouragement of other arts as well. In addition to theater, musical performances by professionals and amateurs became more widespread. Cabinetmakers like the Goddards of Newport supplied fine pieces of furniture in the latest fashion for the homes of wealthy merchants and professional men. Artists from Europe arrived to paint the portraits of the colonial elite.
Gustavus Hesselius came from Sweden to Delaware in 1711 and began to do portraits there, in Philadelphia, and in the Chesapeake region. He later turned to organ building, while his son John followed in his footsteps as a portraitist. Peter Pelham, a mezzotint engraver, began working in Boston in 1726, and three years later, John Smibert arrived in the company of Bishop Berkeley.
Jeremiah The¼s, a Swiss painter, came to Charles Town in 1739, and in 1750 John Valentin Haidt came to the Moravian community in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A number of American-born painters emerged in the same era, notably Nathaniel Emmons, Joseph Badger, and John Greenwood in Boston, Robert Feke in Newport, and James Claypoole in Philadelphia. John Wollaston and Joseph Blackburn emigrated from England at midcentury, bringing with them new fashions in portraiture.
This later generation of American painters, active in the two decades before the Revolution, included John Singleton Copley, Benjamin West, and Charles Willson Peale, three of the best artists of the period. Copley was the stepson of Peter Pelham, and his portraits done in Boston and New York are notable for their masterly capturing of individuality, their luminousness, and their exquisite representation of textures and surfaces. Copley went to England during the Revolution, partly for political reasons but mostly in search of more lucrative commissions.
Benjamin West, however, left Philadelphia to develop his skills as a painter in England and on the Continent. His historical painting The Death of General Wolfe (1770) attracted favorable attention in England, including the interest of King George III, who appointed West as keeper of the royal pictures; West eventually succeeded Joshua Reynolds as president of the Royal Academy. West encouraged young American painters both in Philadelphia and London, and one of his students, Charles Willson Peale, became the great painter of the Revolutionary generation and the father of a family of talented artists.
Charles Willson Peale, one of the great American painters of the Revolutionary period, was the father of a distinguished family of artists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This portrait is by Benjamin West, Peale's teacher and the first American painter to gain an international reputation. (New York Historical Society, New York/Bridgeman Art Library)Tupac Shakur Tupac African American Art Afro Art Music by brtyche Mapq8Department of Art, Music & Theatre Armstrong University Mapq8Frank Morrison Art&Tatucya Art Board Music Pinterest Frank … Mapq8