Known today for his invention of the telegraph and Morse Code, Samuel F. B. Morse was originally a skilled artist. His monumental painting, The Gallery of the Louvre, is on display at the New Britain Museum of American Art. Owned by the Terra Foundation for American Art,
the painting has recently undergone a complete and careful restoration.
While I was there, one of the museum's educators -- Kay -- was discussing the painting with teenagers attending a summer art program. The kids paid close attention and
weren't shy about answering Kay's questions and offering their own ideas.
Morse put himself at the bottom center of the painting, looking over an art student's shoulder.
Da Vinci's Mona Lisa has a place of honor behind him, as do works by Titian, Veronese, Claude Lorrain and others. Morse painted his friend James Fenimore Cooper
in the left corner with Cooper's wife and daughter.