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Branches of Baltimore History

The Mastodon and the Peale Museum

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Raphael and Rembrandt Peale, his enterprising sons, had for some years previous stimulated artistic and scientific interest by the opening of the Baltimore Museum where they exhibited “sixty-four portraits of illustrious men distinguished in the Revolution,” as well as “upwards of two hundred preserved birds, beasts, amphibious animals, fishes, and also Indian’s dresses, ornaments, and utensils for civil and military life, etc.” Raphael Peale left Baltimore in 1800, after painting “seventy-two miniatures since his arrival.” Rembrandt on his return from Europe found the interest so great in the stupendous skeleton he had exhibited, which weighed 1,000 pounds and was 31 feet long from tusks to tail (a dinner party having been given in its capacious frame), that he returned to Baltimore and began about 1813 the building from a design by Robert Cary Long on Holliday street near Lexington, which still bears upon its notable facade the faded legend, Baltimore Museum, erected by Rembrandt Peale, 1813-1830.”

Written by monumentcity

December 9th, 2009 at 4:53 pm