The Power of a Name

So lately I have been thinking about the power of a name.  As a parent you spend a HUGE amount of time choosing your child's name. Everything about a person can be developed by a name. That pressure is massive.

I remember having conversations before we picked out Treyson's name. They went a lot like this:

"What do you think about (insert any name here) for a girl?" 

"Eh, Nah. I knew a girl at my summer camp named that. She farted a lot. I don't want that for our future daughter." 

"Well, what do you think about (insert any name here) for a boy?"

"Yeah...I went on a date with a guy named (insert above name suggestion here). It was terrible. He faked leaving his wallet at home. Not gonna happen."

You see my dilemma? One of the reasons that Treyson is named Treyson is because I have never in my life met anyone named Treyson therefore I have no weird or interesting memories to associate with his name. Family names are important though. Treyson William. Every man in my family for lawd knows how many generations had some iteration of William in their name. It seemed perfect. 

Choosing a name is an art. One that takes time, dedication, and dreams. Dreams for what that child will be and dreams of what that child will become to the world. 

Since today's blog is about Art & History I wanted to introduce you to a family with a thing for names...and for talent. 

This is Charles Willson Peale. Charlie here is a world renowned portrait artist and naturalist. He painted portraits of such historic figures as James Varnum, John Hancock, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. He is also the father of seventeen children. Unfortunately Charles lived in a time period where most of his children did not survive infancy (Serious heartbreak, I can't even imagine the greater legacy the Peale's could have left if all seventeen would have survived.) I would like to introduce you to a few of his children with more interesting, and historic, names...

Raphaelle Peale is considered the first professional American still-life painter. He was the fifth born, but the oldest surviving. Trained by his father to be an artist Raphaelle often painted miniatures before moving on to paint still-lifes. His work is featured in the Art Institute of Chicago, Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art...just to name a few. 

Rembrandt Peale was an American artist and museum keeper. He was a prolific portrait painter and was especially acclaimed for his paintings of American Presidents including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. His father also taught him to paint and I would say he did a pretty great job. I recently viewed an exhibition of Charles Willson Peale's works with Rembrandt's and it was amazing to see their pieces side by side. He also helped found the National Academy of Design in 1826. 

Rubens was the fourth son of Charles and was born with poor vision. Most portrait artist lost their vision late in life from over use and strain, btw. He never set out to be an artist, but loved the arts and traveled extensively with his family. He was the Director of his father's museum in Philadelphia from 1810- 1821 and then the Co- Director (with Rembrandt) of the Peale Museum in Baltimore. His most famous act? Installing gas lighting to illuminate the works in the museum. He eventually began studying landscape paintings with Edward Moran (the Moran's are another American art family with an enticing legacy) and created about 130 pieces late in life. 

Angelica Kauffman Peale was named after Charles' favorite female painter. She was instructed in drawing by her father and enjoyed a close relationship with him. She is also renowned for her artworks. Can I just say...How fabulous is she!?! 

Titian Peale was a noted American artist, naturalist, entomologist, and photographer. During my studies I most commonly heard about Titian's photography pioneering. You can occasionally hear him referred to as Titian II because he did have an older brother that died at 18 with the same name. He provided sketched and paintings to many naturalist publications through his life. His work is held in the Amon Carter Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Reading Public Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the American Museum of Natural History as well as many others. 

Charles Willson Peale's other children were also named: James Willson, Elanore, Maragret Ann, Sophionisba Angusciola, Rosalba Carrera, Vandyke, Elizabeth, Franklin, and Charles Linneaus. 

Do you remember when Seven of Ten blogged about choosing Amelia's name? I just couldn't help thinking about the Peale Family when I read it. It is amazing the power of a name, and personally I can't think of a more perfect name for Amelia than just that. You guys have a great week and I will see you back on the blog on Friday for an updated High 5 for Beauty. Until then, stay exceptionally chic & exquisitely geek!!! 

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