The Morse Family
Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872) / Watercolor on paper, circa 1810
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Samuel F. B. Morse's watercolor depicts his father, Jedidiah Morse, at the center of his family, lecturing on geography. The setting includes a prominently displayed terrestrial globe and a book (probably meant to be one of Morse's own), opened to show an extended diagram or map. Sidney and Richard Morse stand to their father's left, while Samuel Morse leans forward on his right, intent on his father's words and gestures. Elizabeth Breese Morse also listens closely, her sewing scissors discarded tiny implements overshadowed by the bulk and visual authority of the globe and lecturer.
Title image: Culpeper-type microscope/ Courtesy National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.