Elena Carral
Diploma 9
Charles Wilson Peale was an American archeologist, lecturer, taxidermist, scientist, public figure and artist. Over the course of his life he created many self-portraits.  Each was an attempt to represent a version of his multiple selves - the last of which is this one The Artist In His Museum.

In this painting Peale holds the red velvet curtain that separates his intimate life from the public collection that he created and is located in the Philadelphia Museum of Natural History and Art. 

In the foreground of the painting, in front of the curtain, Peale stands next to objects that represent different parts of his multiple selves: a mammoth bone, a stuffed turkey and his artist’s palette.

The unfinished objects of the foreground imply that he is not just the curator of the museum but also the creator of everything behind the curtain.  Therefore, this project looks at the immediate space of the foreground as the front edge of his creative space – his studio. 

This is the frame of the idealized space of the self-portrait that sits as one more object within the artist studio. The artist reveals the unedited version of the self-portrait – the studio – the space in which the objects site before they are composed, and is where the author looks at himself.  

The studio is the room for the production of identity and is where Peale shifts from being represented as a figure to suddenly occupying an imagined world.

The more frames we incorporate into the room of the studio the more we know about the subject and his location.

Each frame expands the field of the self-portrait, as this room is only a piece of a larger one.

The identity of this room is always and only understood when in relation to another.