The Peabody Group #29

The Peabody Group, which includes forty- one sheets, marks the culmination of Taylor’s Pet Names/Pet Stains series. The names inscribed on them mix well-known personalities and fictional characterswith cities, foods, plants, and other items, creating a vast network of allusions that broadens the implications of the drawings. Fond of wordplay, Taylor often chose words with multiple meanings. The title Peabody, no doubt picked for its homophony with “pee-body,” may refer to Mr. Peabody, the dog in the popular 1960s television series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, but also to prestigious scientific institutions such as the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard, lending an aura of authority to Taylor’s humorous classification of drips and blobs.

Al Taylor (1948–1999)
The Peabody Group #29, 1992
Watercolor, gouache, ink, coffee, graphite, colored pencil, and ballpoint pen
The Morgan Library & Museum. Gift of the Modern & Contemporary Collectors Committee; 2011.7
© 2019 The Estate of Al Taylor