Essay On John Singleton Copley And The American Dream

1170 Words5 Pages
Navya Nataraj
Mrs. Marks
AP Language and Composition
20 January 2018
John Singleton Copley and The American Dream
The American Dream started out as simply the idea that every citizen has the equal opportunity to succeed. This very broad notion has changed and warped over America’s history. One of the ideas that the American Dream has been twisted into is the importance of status symbols. In what has become a rat-race to become wealthy, people have zeroed in on the value of appearing wealthy (Meacham, Jon). Why else would there be a demand for designer clothes, sports cars and mega-mansions? In a way, the appearance of status has become the new American Dream. Interestingly, 18th Century painter, John Singleton Copley, who started painting before the United States won independence, created an art business around people’s needs to create a image of success (Hacht 3-5).
John Singleton Copley’s childhood is still a mystery to the American people. However, what is known is that he was introduced to art at a very young age by his stepfather, Peter Pelham. Peter Pelham was a highly credentialed graphic art designer in his time. Pelhams’ connections in the art world provided a good base for Copley. In turn, Copley followed in the footsteps of his stepfather for quite a bit of time. Yet, Copley soon discovered skills in the genre of portraiture and, thus, he found his own place in the art realm in colonial America (International Dictionary of Art and Artists). At the time, the art
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