Jane Peterson

American, 1876 - 1965
1876: Born in Elgin, Illinois; 1895: Moved to New York to study painting at the Pratt Institute; 1901: Continued her studies with Frank Vincent Dumond at the Art Students League; worked as Drawing Supervisor of Public Schools in Brooklyn; 1904: Worked as a school teacher in Elmira, New York; 1905: Employed as Drawing Supervisor of Public Schools in Boston, Massachusetts; 1906: Worked as an art teacher at the Maryland Institute School of Art and Design; 1908: Moved to Paris and studied with Jacque-Emile Blanche, Charles Cottet, and Claudio Castelucho; lived in Montparnasse and attended Gertrude Stein’s salons, with artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, André Derain, and Henri Rousseau; 1909: First solo American exhibition at the Botolph Club in Boston; travelled to Madrid and studied with Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida; 1910: Took a painting trip through Egypt and Algiers; 1913: Began teaching watercolor at the Art Students League; 1916: Set off on a transcontinental painting expedition through Alaska and Canada; visited California and painted in Los Angeles and San Diego; 1917: Painted military portraits and patriotic scenes during World War I; 1924: Spent six months painting in Turkey; 1925: Married Moritz Bernard Phillip; 1938: Studied with the Modernist André Lhote in Paris; named most outstanding individual of the year by the American Historical Society for artistic achievement; 1945: Biography published in Prominent Women of New York; 1960: Exhibited at the North Shore Show in Gloucester, Massachusetts; moved to Kansas with niece; 1965: Died at age 88.
jane-peterson paintings art
Jane Peterson studied at the Pratt Institute of Art from 1885-1901, at the Art Students League and then went abroad to study in London, Paris and Madrid. She became one of the leading women in the Post-Impressionist movement and reached the height of her fame in the 1920s. Between 1910 and 1930, Peterson held more than 100 exhibits. Her work began with New England beach and pier scenes and her first solo show was held in Boston in 1909. Soon afterwards she had a second, successful exhibition in NYC. However, after a brief trip to Turkey and her marriage in 1925, Peterson began to focus most of her time on large floral paintings. These works were stylized with rich brocades, gold and/or silver backgrounds and bold expression. Peterson taught watercolor courses at the Art Students League from 1913-1919 and used the money she earned to finance trips to Europe. There she was exposed to Fauvism, Impressionism, Expressionism and very early Cubism. Because her vast experience in style movement, she was considered a vital link between American Impressionism and Expressionism. Her painting "Toilette" (1922) was singled out in a review by the New York Society of Painters for its hints of Impressionism combined with Art Noveau and eludes but any specific school.

Biography courtesy of The Caldwell Gallery, www.antiquesandfineart.com/caldwell
"During her lifetime, Jane Peterson was one of New York City's most important painters. Her vibrant watercolors provide a vital link between the impressionist and expressionist movements in American art. Born in 1876 in Illinois, Peterson moved to New York when she was 19. For the next 12 years, she studied at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and with artist Frank Vincent Dumond.

Aware of the artistic innovations taking place in Europe, Peterson used the money she earned as an art instructor to finance the first of her many trips abroad in 1907. She sought out some of the best teachers of the day, and in Paris she was influenced by fauvism, impressionism, expressionism and the beginnings of the cubist movement. Upon her return to the United States, Peterson had her first one-woman exhibition in Boston in 1909, with a second successful show occurring shortly after in New York City.

Initially, Peterson's work was stylistically linked with that of Maurice Prendergast. Though Prendergast's brushwork was more neo-impressionistic, both artists selected colorful and festive subjects. By the 1920s, Peterson had reached the height of her fame. In addition to frequent one-woman shows, her Toilette (1922, private collection) was singled out in a review as best of the show by the New York Society of Painters. Toilette, showing hints of impressionism and of art nouveau, is decidedly individualistic, eschewing overall identification with any specific school.

Peterson, a prolific artist, also continued to teach.From 1912 to 1919, she taught watercolor at the Art Students League, then later taught classes at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore. In 1925 Peterson began painting what she called her 'flower portraits,' These still lifes dominated all her subsequent exhibitions. Highly stylized, the flower paintings are bold and expressive, echoing the style and fashion of the time. As seen in her Iris and Petunias (ca. 1925, private collection) these still lifes often incorporated rich brocades, and included gold and silver backgrounds.

In 1938, Peterson was named the 'most outstanding individual of the year' by the American Historical Society for her artistic achievement only the second woman in the history of the Society to be so honored. The artist was then 62 years old. Peterson died in New York in 1965."

From 300 Years of American Art, Michael David Zellman, The Wellfleet Press, New Jersey, 1987.

Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton
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