In 2007, American photographer Sharon Core (born 1965) encountered the work of the early nineteenth-century American still-life painter Raphael Peale (1774–1825). Peale’s images of fruit, cakes and vegetables are famed for their uncanny realism, and they inspired Core to undertake a series of photographs titled Early American, a brilliant exploration of trompe l’oeil’s relationship to photography, and of photography’s relationship to the past. Core replicates as closely as possible the subject matter, lighting and compositional characteristics of Peale’s paintings. She describes an extraordinarily intensive preparation for the project, researching and acquiring period porcelain and glass and growing, from heirloom seeds, varieties of fruits and vegetables that were in existence in the early nineteenth century. “Through these efforts,” she writes, “I hoped to achieve a mirroring of Peale’s painstaking painting process, and the themes that lie under their surfaces.” This volume reproduces the 31 images comprising this ambitious enterprise.