This series illustrates a story I've been writing about Charles Willson Peale, the 18th century American painter and natural historian who opened America's first public natural history museum and art academy (both in Philadelphia). Peale writes in his journal of exploring the woods of Pennsylvania in search of new specimen. He would wander for days at a time, sleeping outdoors and foraging for food and called this kind of walk a "blackberry ramble." My story explores the history of art and what it reveals about our evolving understanding of our place in an ecosystem.
In the story, Peale steps out of his self portrait and enters other paintings in search of new specimen for his collection. Along the way, he befriends Frida Kahlo and Las Meninas. Their shared curiosity and lust for adventure lead them through unfamiliar landscapes on a quest to catalog all living things.