Mr. Peale's Corporation: The Invention of the Permanent Collection

Friday Seminar
Whitney Martinko, Villanova University
Sep 22, 2023 at - | Location: Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street/Zoom

Whitney Martinko

Whitney Martinko is an associate professor of History at Villanova University and the author of Historic Real Estate: Market Morality and the Politics of Preservation in the Early United States (Early American Studies Series, Penn Press, 2020). Martinko is currently working on a history of Charles Willson Peale’s portrait gallery to tell a surprising story about how nineteenth-century corporate policies and fiscal currents have shaped some of the most iconic and seemingly priceless collections of early American historic objects. You can read more about her work at www.whitneymartinko.com.


Martinko earned her A.B. in History with high honors from Harvard College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.



The McNeil Center sponsors a seminar that meets on Friday afternoons approximately twice a month between September and May, with the paper for each session circulated in advance. Over two hundred people attend at least once a year, with an average attendance of 40 to 50 at meetings held at various sites in the Delaware Valley. While most of the regular attendees are graduate students and faculty from institutions in the Philadelphia area, participants come from as far afield as Long Island, New York City, Princeton, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington. 

The McNeil Center will utilize a hybrid format for seminars in which participants may gather together at the McNeil Center building (or occasionally at an MCEAS Consortium institution host in the Philadelphia area) or attend via Zoom. For regular updates about our seminars, please join our mailing list. Please email us at mceas@sas.upenn.edu with any questions.