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 Henry (Erik Christopher) Peterson  (1841 - 1918)

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Lived/Active: Illinois / Sweden      Known for: portrait

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Erik Christopher Peterson is primarily known as Henry (Erik Christopher) Peterson

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Henry (Erik Christopher) Peterson
from Auction House Records.
Portrait of Cella Kerr, as Desdamona
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted February 2005, is from Jeff Rankin, Director of Communications, Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL. He writes: "In researching an 1877 oil portrait of David Wallace, first president of Monmouth College, which we have in our collection, I found the following biography of the artist, Henry Peterson. It appears in Appendix C of "Tangled Web: Swedish Immigrant Artists' Patronage Systems, 1880-1940," copyright 2004 by Mary Towley Swanson."

Educated at the handicraft school in Brunkeberstorg, Sweden, then at the Royal Academy in Stockholm, Henry Peterson immigrated to Chicago and served in the American Navy during the Civil War. He went on to study at the Academie Julian in Paris, returned to paint portraits in Chicago, then to teach at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He left Chicago in 1886 to work in New York and Boston, but returned to live in Chicago in 1908.

According to notes in the Monmouth College archives, Peterson was the most prominent portrait artist in Chicago prior to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and painted many prominent people in Chicago, New England and elsewhere. He exhibited at the Interstate Industrial Exposition of 1873, the most important exhibition of its day. The notes appear in a letter apparently from an art historian to the Monmouth College librarian, but the portion of the letter containing the historian's name and the date have unfortunately been lost.



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