Sunday, April 1, 2018

Jane Peterson - At Home and Abroad

Jane Peterson (1876 - 1965) in her studio
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Underwood and Underwood Studios
I recently visited the show, Jane Peterson, At Home and Abroad, at the Long Island Museum. Peterson's range of styles; Ash Can, Impressionist, Expressionist, is impressive. Her depth of talent, awe inspiring. I'm glad that I finally have gotten to see her incredible work and get to know bout her life, if just a little bit.
Williamsburg Bridge
Gouache on paper, 17 1/2 x 23 3/4 in
Collection of Sally and Allen McDaniel

Jane Peterson was born "Jennie Pederson" in Elgin, Illinois, daughter of Scandinavian immigrants, an American dream story. Her father worked at the Elgin Watch factory initially as a parts worker, but advanced to become a skilled watchmaker. Her mother kept house (and apparently kept track of the finances) with her two sisters and a brother, Jennie was second eldest. Educating their children was a priority for the Pedersons. In 1895 with a loan from her mother, Jane left Elgin for Brooklyn, New York to attend Pratt Institute. As Pratt had no dormitories, Jane lived in a boarding house and claimed to have often subsisted on bread and milk while a student. 
Jane's Baedeker travel guides and photos
Jane's story fascinates me. A fellow midwesterner who travels to New York City to follow her dreams. I highly recommend the exhibition catalogue. It is full of biographical stories along with photos, personal and of her paintings. Jane managed to make enough money teaching, selling paintings and acquiring patrons to afford trips to Europe and the Middle East. She studied with renown teachers of the day, including JoaquĆ­n Sorolla y Bastida, who she studied with in 1909, who is considered her most influential. Jane lived in Paris around the corner from Gertrude Stein's Salon. She befriended Louis Comfort Tiffany and painted the gardens of his Oyster Bay estate. Throughout the years of her life, she describes her many adventures in oil paint and gouache.
The Pigeons of St. Mark's, 1923
Courtesy of Diamond Antiques and Fine Art, West Harwich MA
Jane Peterson feeding pigeons in front of St. Mark's in Venice
Courtesy of Wayne Mattox
Gloucester Fleet
Oil on canvas, 30 1/4 x 40 1/4 in
Collection of David and 'Weezie' Reese
Jane Peterson working en plein air
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Gloucester Harbor, c1920
Oil on Canvas, 32 1/2 x 32 in
The Mariners' Museum
Jane Peterson sketching on the beach
Archives American Art, Smithsonian Institution
I loved seeing this photo of Jane painting at the beach. According to the exhibition book, she would often begin her pieces en plein air, take photos and complete the painting in her studio. The painting below is one of the many beach scenes that Jane painted while at her Palm Beach home.  She married twice and her first husband's wealth launched her into the life of artist socialite. The book and exhibit feature work originated while traveling and teaching as well as her married life in New York City, Palm Beach, Florida and Gloucester, Maine. The exhibition book mentions that her first husband didn't like her painting en plein air on the streets of New York, so he built her a big studio on top of their Fifth Avenue apartment. It was there that she created her famous flower portraits. 
Beach Scene (Four Umbrellas)
Oil on canvas board, 12 x 16in
Private Collection
Lady in Yellow
Oil on canvas, 38 x 32 in
Housatonic Museum of Art
Lure of the Butterfly, c1914-1915
Oil on canvas, 30 x 40in
Private Collection
The Window Seat
Oil on canvas, 40 1/8 x 60 1/8 in
Hickory Museum of Art
This wonderful show is at the Long Island Museum until April 22, 2018. 
Stony Brook, NY
Smithsonian Institution: Jane Peterson Papers

From Long Island the show travels to:
May 13 - July 22, 2018
August 5 - October 14, 2018

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for introducing me to her.Love her work and the personal glimpses of he:)


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