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 Sheldon Peck  (1797 - 1868)

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Lived/Active: Illinois/Vermont      Known for: naive portrait often group, landscape

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Ad Code: 2
Sheldon Peck
from Auction House Records.
Mr. and Mrs. William Vaughan of Aurora, Illinois
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Cornwall, Vermont, Sheldon Peck became an itinerant portrait painter.  He was self-taught and did not sign his work, but his distinctive style of using a long brushstroke flanked by two shorter ones--resembling a rabbit's foot has become his signature.  His early works, family portraits in Vermont, were brushed onto wood panels, and he used somber colors, dark backgrounds, and detailed clothing.

In 1828, he moved to a farm in Jordan, Onandaga County, New York and then began to paint with brighter colors.  He continued to paint half and three-quarter length portraits on wood panels and added highly detailed settings and an occasional landscape in the background.

In 1837, he moved to Babcock's Grove, (Lombard by 1868), near Chicago, Illinois, and became a farmer and community leader who opened a school for his own and other children.  Peck was an abolitionist and there is very good evidence that the house was a stop on the underground railroad.  At the end of the farming season, he traveled and painted portraits, and used canvas instead of wood panels.  He also made his own frames.

Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
additional information courtesy of Jeanne Schultz Angel, Director, Sheldon Peck Homestead, Lombard, Illinois

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