J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Visiting William Carpenter at the Worcester Art Museum

This is Ralph Earl’s portrait of William Carpenter, an English lad about twelve years old in 1779. It’s not the most graceful painting, but it conveys a lot of personality. It’s also one of many pieces of visual evidence that the preferred hairstyle for British and American boys in the 1770s was, alas, the mullet.

William Carpenter lives at the Worcester Art Museum, which has just reopened its grand front doors and is offering free admission in July and August.

Here are articles on the museum from the Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Its Early American Art collection includes paintings by John Singleton Copley, Joseph Badger, Joseph Blackburn, and the mind-blowing Edward Savage.

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