Posts Tagged ‘orphan’

Artist of the moment…….Charles Peale Polk



Charles Peale Polk was a member of America’s first family of artists, the Peale family. Polk specialized in painting portraits of the wealthy and elite including President George Washington.

Charles Peale Polk was born in Annapolis, Maryland in the year 1767. He was orphaned around the age of ten and went to live with uncle who introduced him to the world of art.

Many times he would make copies of his uncle’s work. He claimed to have painted George Washington nearly 60 times! Back in the days before smart phones and instagram, people had to rely on artists for great images.

Its very interesting to see look at the common features of his many portraits of George Washington. Many images have similar arm and hand positions, even backgrounds.

I saw Charles Peale Polk on the Antiques Roadshow. A style of portrait was done with glass, gold leaf, and black paint that I had never seen. In this clip the technique of Verre Eglomise is explored. An example of verre eglomise is the last picture in the gallery. This piece is even given an auction estimate in the clip:

Charles Peale Polk passed away in 1822.

He was the nephew of Charles Willson Peale. This Peale was famous for his images of presidential and political figures. He also founded some of the country’s first museums.


Artist of the moment….Madge Gill

Madge Gill was a British artist born in East Ham, Essex to a young mother out of wedlock. Gill is known for her folk/ naive art drawing style. She went to liveĀ  in an orphanage at nine years of age. Afterward she was moved to a farm in Canada.

Quite a character Madge Gill married a cousin. The couple had four children but a daughter was a stillborn and child died due to the Spanish influenza epidemic.

The death of her daughter was bad news but then Gill nearly died from an illness that left her blind in one eye.

Supposedly the artist did her best work when she was in a trance like state of being.

She sometimes signed work with the tag ” Myrninterest.” The was the name she gave to the spiritĀ  who inhabited her body when she produced her artwork.

Gill chose not to sell most of her artwork for money, she was afraid it might anger the spirits that helped her produce her wonderful art.

Price range information: Sorry none available. Most of her work is in private collections or owned by the London borough of Newham.

After her daughter was dead the artist came to experience a deepening in spirit. She tried to bring this forth in her artwork.

Here we visit our dear friend James Kalm for a trip showcasing works by the artist. I encourage you to watch the entire clip, but Madge Gill works starts showing at the 7:54 mark into the clip.