Daniel Bowen: Boston’s Pioneer Museum Keeper

[This article originally appeared in the Boston Tab newspaper in May 1999] Contemporary Boston is a city of many great museums. The history of museum keeping in Boston had its modest beginnings in 1791, with the arrival from Philadelphia of one Daniel Bowen, age thirty-one, a close friend of the patriot-painter Charles Willson Peale of …

Continue reading Daniel Bowen: Boston’s Pioneer Museum Keeper

The Patriot Painters, Part 2: Gilbert Stuart, 1755-1828

Gilbert Stuart, Self Portrait In the case of Gilbert Stuart, the second of our painters, we are dealing with a more talented artist, one of the greatest portrait painters of all time, but a much less intellectually-engaged or public-spirited figure than Charles Willson Paine. Like Peale, Stuart grew up in relative poverty. His father, Gilbert …

Continue reading The Patriot Painters, Part 2: Gilbert Stuart, 1755-1828

The Name Allston: An Appropriate Choice?

Boston’s Allston section is said to be the only community in the United States named for an artist---the great Romantic painter Washington Allston (1779-1843). This is of course is no small distinction. Allston “Self-Portrait, completed in 1805. By the 1820s this European trained painter was regarded as the greatest artist America had yet produced, having …

Continue reading The Name Allston: An Appropriate Choice?

Annexation Embraced: Brighton’s 1873 Acceptance of Boston

  On October 7, 1873 the voters of the independent towns of Brookline and Brighton made sharply contrasting decisions on the question of annexation to the City of Boston. While two-thirds of Brookline’s electors rejected merger with the metropolis, fully 81 percent of Brighton’s electors eagerly embraced the opportunity to join the city. Why did …

Continue reading Annexation Embraced: Brighton’s 1873 Acceptance of Boston

Upcoming Post’s: Annexation Spurned: Brookline’s 1873 Rejection of Boston & Annexation Embraced: Brighton’s 1873 Acceptance of Boston

On October 7, 1873 the voters of the independent towns of Brookline and Brighton made sharply contrasting decisions on the question of annexation to the City of Boston. While two-thirds of Brookline’s electors rejected merger with the metropolis, fully 81 percent of Brighton’s electors eagerly embraced the opportunity to join the city. Why did these …

Continue reading Upcoming Post’s: Annexation Spurned: Brookline’s 1873 Rejection of Boston & Annexation Embraced: Brighton’s 1873 Acceptance of Boston