A glimpse behind the curtain : understanding Charles Willson Peale’s use of allegorical forms in museum education
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This thesis examines Charles Willson Peale’s utilization of visual metaphors within his founding institution, The Philadelphia Museum. After establishing himself as a portrait painter, it became second nature for Peale to employ an aesthetic approach when developing museum exhibits and programs. Throughout his practices he continuously used imagery and objects to represent broader fields of research, along with his views as a naturalist and American patriot. By using these allegorical forms to arouse the public’s curiosity, he was able to attract more visitors to his museum and subsequently draw them into the learning process.