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 Jane Peterson  (1876 - 1965)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/New York/Kansas/Illino / France/Italy      Known for: town-landscape, genre, and still-life painting

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Jane Peterson
from Auction House Records.
Gloucester Harbor-Late Afternoon
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Jennie Christine in Elgin, Illinois, she officially changed her name to Jane Peterson in 1909 after her first success as an artist.  Her family was of humble background but certainly not poverty stricken.  She became famous for a wide range of works from landscapes to still-lives that blend Impressionist and Expressionist movements.  As a woman, her life was much more independent and adventurous than those of most of her contemporaries, and she traveled widely to paint including joining Louis Comfort Tiffany on a continental painting expedition in his private railway car.

Peterson does not belong to any particular school of painting, but combined techniques and styles from a variety of teachers and prevalent styles.  However, many of her early works were strongly Impressionist, much influenced by Joaquin Sorrola y Bastida, a Madrid painter under whose teaching she abandoned dark tonalities for the spontaneous methods of applying paint characteristic of Impressionism.

At age 18, Peterson, with a gift from her mother of $300, then a substantial sum of money, enrolled in the Pratt Institute in New York City and studied with Arthur Wesley Dow, graduating in 1901.  She also studied at the Art Students League with Frank DuMond and held several teaching positions that took her to Boston and Maryland. Subsequently she studied in Paris and lived around the corner from Gertrude and Leo Stein, who invited Peterson to many of their soirees where she met leading intellectuals including Picasso and Matisse.

She studied in Venice and in London with Frank Brangwyn and in Madrid with Joaquin Sorolla, whom she accompanied in 1919 to the United States when he received a commission from Tiffany to paint his portrait.  Tiffany's home at Laurelton Hall, Oyster Bay, New York had lavish gardens that reminded visitors of Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny.  Peterson did paintings of this garden that strongly resembled work by Monet's followers at Giverny.

In 1916, she exhibited work she had painted in the Pacific Northwest while traveling with Louis Tiffany.  By 1916, she was also doing much painting of colorful beach scenes with Maurice Prendergast and went on to paint many landscapes and seascapes.  She completed many floral subjects, which were inspired by the gardens of her summer house in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  Many of her beach and pier scenes were from painting trips to artist colonies along the Massachusetts coast.

Her first successful American exhibition was in 1909 at the St. Botolph Club in Boston, and from that time her work was the subject of over 50 one-person shows.  In 1925, she married Moritz Bernard Philip, a lawyer and art patron.

Source:
Charlotte Rubinstein, American Women Artists

Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
Art Institute of Chicago, 1910 & 1914.
Memberships:
Circulo Artitico; National Academy of Design; New York Water Color Club; American Water Color Society; National Association of Woman Painters and Sculptures; Society of Women painters; Connecticut American Federation of Artists; Pen and Brush Club; National Art Club; Society of Painter of New York; Washington Watercolor Club; Audubon Artists.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Jane Peterson was born Jennie Christine on November 28, 1876 in Elgin, Illinois to Julius and Kate Peterson, whose background was humble but not poverty-stricken.  From her earliest years, she drew from nature and took art courses at the Elgin Public Schools.  In 1895 she went to New York City to study art at the Pratt Institute on a gift of $300 from her mother.  Before graduating she taught painting there and became one of their most popular teachers.  She officially changed her name to Jane after her first success as an artist.

She then became the Drawing Supervisor of the Brooklyn Public Schools and studied oil painting with Frank Vincent Dumond while she saved money to travel abroad to study painting with Frank Brangwyn in London, Jacques Emile Blanche and Andre L'Hote in Paris and Joaquin Sorolla in Madrid.  In Paris she lived around the corner from Gertrude and Leo Stein, who invited her to many of their parties where she met people like Picasso and Matisse.

By 1912, Peterson had many rich patrons; she taught watercolor painting at the Art Students League in New York City and at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.  She could paint with the best of the prominent male painters and that impressed the art world.

In 1925 she married Noritz Bernard Philip, a lawyer and art patron.  She died on August 14, 1965.


Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Elgin, IL, Nov. 28, 1876; d. Leawood, , Aug. 14, 1965. Painter, specialized in still-lifes and beach scenes. In 1865, she moved to New York to study at the Pratt Institute with Arthur Wesley Dow. After graduation, she taught in the Brooklyn Public Schools and studied with Frank Vincent Dumond. She went abroad and studied with Frank Brangwyn in London. Jacques Blanche and Andre L’Hote in Paris, and Joaquin Soralla in Madrid. By 1912, she was teaching watercolor painting at the Art Students League and at the Maryland Institute. She had rich patrons and was considered equal to the best of the male painters of the day. During World War I, Peterson painted war-oriented subjects that benefited Liberty Loans and the American Red Cross efforts. She painted in a brightly hued painterly, Post-Impressionist style during the height of her career, from circa 1910-1925. The artist was well known for her Gloucester harbor scenes, Venetian vignettes, New York subjects, and her exotic Orientalist paintings of North African and Constantinople. Throughout her life, she had over 80 one-woman exhibitions and was recognized as a uniquely talented painter.
Source:
AWARDS:
Water Color prize, Girls Art Club; Flagg prize, Connecticut American Federation of Artists, 1917; Honorable mention, Connecticut American Federation of Artists, 1916; Honorable mention, National Association of Woman Painters and Sculptors, 1919.

COLLECTIONS:
Art Association Grand Rapid, MI; Girls Art Club, Paris; YMCA, Elgin, IL; Brooklyn Museum; Everson Museum of Art; Wichita Art Museum; Brooklyn Athletic Club; Public Schools, Evanston, IL; Country Club, Torrington, CT; Borse City Art Collection, IA.; High Museum of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art; Sheldon Art Gallery and more.

MEMBERSHIPS:
Circulo Artitico; National Academy of Design; New York Water Color Club; American Water Color Society; National Association of Woman Painters and Sculptures; Society of Women painters; Connecticut American Federation of Artists; Pen and Brush Club; National Art Club; Society of Painter of New York; Washington Watercolor Club; Audubon Artists.

SOURCES:
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Schwab, Arnold T. A Matter of Life and Death: Vital Biographical Facts about Selected American Artists. New York: Garland Pub., 1977.; American Art Annual. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1898-1947 12/14/20/22/24; Field; Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1936- v.1=1936-37 v.3= 1941-42 v.2=1938-39 v.4=1940-47. 1,6,7; Collins, Jim, and Glenn B. Opitz, eds. Women Artists in America: 18th Century to the Present (1790-1980). Rev. and enl. ed. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: Apollo, 1980.; NMAA file; ); AskArt, www.askart.com, accessed Dec. 22, 2005; Joseph, J. Jonathan. Jane Peterson, an American Artist. Boston (P.O. Box 1220, Boston 02117) : J.J. Joseph, 1981); Baumgartner, Eric W., Stephanie S. Clement, and Debra G. Wieder. An Itinerant Spirit: The Early Works of Jane Peterson. (New York, NY: Hirschl & Adler Galleries, 1995).
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

Biography from Hollis Taggart Galleries (Artists, P-R):

Jane Peterson (1876-1965)

Jane Peterson was one of America’s most innovative artists, creating an individual style that blended traditional approaches to painting with the vanguard art of the Impressionists, Post-impressionists, Expressionists, and Fauves.  Like other American impressionists and early American modernists, Peterson was intrigued by urban and rural American life as well as the great cityscapes of Europe. Her watercolors of lively city parks, fishing villages on the New England Coast, and the canals and markets of Venice have affinities to the work of renowned American artists such as John Singer Sargent and, most prominently, the paintings of her friend Maurice Prendergast.

Born in Elgin, Illinois on November 28, 1876, Jennie Christine (as she was named) began drawing at a young age and took art lessons through the public school system in her hometown. At the age of nineteen, she arrived in New York to study at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute under Arthur Wesley Dow, and eventually became an instructor of painting at the school. After she graduated from Pratt in 1901, she was appointed the Drawing Supervisor of Brooklyn Public Schools and she began studies with Frank Vincent DuMond at the Art Students League of New York. 

Peterson felt, like many Americans artists of the time, that her education would be incomplete without a trip to Europe. In 1907 Peterson left for Europe with Henry and Florence Snell. Florence was an accomplished watercolorist and the trip was arranged as a combination of sightseeing and study. Between 1908 and 1909 Peterson was a pupil under Brangwyn in London and Venice. In the summer of 1909, she went to Madrid to paint alongside Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, the Spanish painter known for his high-keyed colors, dazzling whites, and flowing brushwork. In Paris, she received further instruction from Jacques-Emile Blanche and Andre Hôte. She also frequented the famed salons of the Stein families where she encountered the daring work issuing from the studios of Picasso, Matisse, Leger, Braque, and Cézanne, an experience she later admitted was a bit overwhelming. These European experiences greatly influenced Peterson to abandon the dark tonalities of the academic traditions in favor of the vivid colors, bold patterns, and bright light of the avant-garde art of Paris.

Percival Lowell, a renowned writer and astronomer, showed Peterson’s work in Paris and arranged her first one-person exhibition in America, at the St. Botolph Club in Boston in 1909. She exhibited thirty-three paintings from her sojourns to Paris and Venice. Soon afterwards, Peterson had yet another successful exhibition in New York City where she settled upon her return from Europe. In 1910, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida introduced Peterson to Louis Comfort Tiffany. As a result, Peterson was invited to paint at Laurelton Hall, Tiffany’s Long Island Estate and was given a solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1914.

Subsequently, Peterson turned her attention to teaching and travel. Starting in 1912, she taught watercolor for seven years at the Art Student’s League, and, later in her career, at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore. After 1925, she focused predominantly on what she called “flower portraits,” vibrant still lifes, which frequently included opulent backgrounds. In 1938 Peterson was named the “most outstanding individual of the year” by the American Historical Society. She was only the second women to receive the honor.

Peterson’s work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Fogg Museum at Harvard, the Richmond Indiana Art Museum, the Society of Four Arts in Palm Beach among others.


Biography from Abby M Taylor Fine Art:
Jane Peterson is known for developing an individualistic style, bold color combinations, and for unique.   Her canvases that intermingle Fauvist and Impressionist tendencies with academic drawing rank among her finest canvases and works on paper.

In 1895, she went to New York City to study art at Pratt Institute.  Before graduating in 1901, Peterson taught painting and became a popular teacher at Pratt. She then became the Drawing Supervisor of Brooklyn Public Schools and studied oil painting with Frank Vincent Dumond, as she saved money to travel abroad to study painting with Frank Brangwyn in London, Jacques Emile Blanche and Andre Hote in Paris and the eminent Joaquin Sorolla in Madrid.

Internationally known writer and astronomer Percival Lowell exhibited Peterson's work in Paris and secured her first one-woman exhibition in Boston which led to an near sell-out exhibition in New York City.  By 1912, Peterson had many rich patrons and she taught watercolor painting at the Art Students League in New York City and at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore.

Traveling and painting with Sorolla, Louis Comfort Tiffany, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam and Maurice Prendergast, Peterson had an art entourage that was influential, powerful and impressive.  She could paint with the best of the male painters and that impressed the art world.

During World War I, Peterson painted war-oriented subjects that were exhibited and sold (or donated) to promote Liberty Loans and the American Red Cross efforts.  In 1924, Peterson's Toilette received rave reviews at the New York Society of Painters and a one-woman show on Fifth Avenue sold-out.  By this time, she had won numerous awards, was a Fellow at the National Academy of Design and a member of many art clubs including the American Watercolor Society, Audubon Artists, Pen & Brush Club, and the National Association of Women Artists.

In 1925, The New York Times characterized Peterson as “one of the foremost women painters in New York.”  Known for her colorful, post-impressionist paintings of Gloucester streets and harbor on Cape Ann; palm trees along the Florida coast; street scenes in Paris, Istanbul and New York City; boating views in Venice, Italy and elsewhere, Peterson also flamboyantly executed floral subjects and dynamic genre-like-portraits.  She was given over 80 one-woman exhibitions and was recognized as a uniquely talented painter of distinction before her death on August 14, 1965.

Public Collections:
Brooklyn Museum, NY
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Boston
Richmond Indiana Art Museum
Society of Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida
Wesleyan College, Macon Georgia
Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida

Biography from Pierce Galleries, Inc.:
Jane Peterson has an individual style, with bold color combinations and unique designs, and her canvases intermingle Fauvist and Impressionist tendencies with academic drawing.

Peterson was named Jennie Christine upon her birth in Elgin, Illinois, November 28, 1876.  Growing up in poverty, she was the daughter of Julius and Kate Peterson.  From her earliest years, Peterson drew from nature and took art lessons at the Elgin Public Schools.  In 1895, she went to New York City to study art at Pratt Institute.  Before graduating in 1901, Peterson taught painting and became a popular teacher at Pratt.

She then became the Drawing Supervisor of Brooklyn Public Schools and studied oil painting with Frank Vincent Dumond, as she saved money to travel abroad to study painting with Frank Brangwyn in London, Jacques Emile Blanche and Andre Hote in Paris and the eminent Joaquin Sorolla in Madrid.

Internationally known writer and astronomer Percival Lowell exhibited Peterson’s work in Paris and secured her first one-woman exhibition in Boston which led to an near sell-out exhibition in New York City.  By 1912, Peterson had many rich patrons and she taught watercolor painting at the Art Students League in New York City and at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore.

Traveling and painting with Sorolla, Louis Comfort Tiffany, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam and Maurice Prendergast, Peterson was in an influential art entourage and made it evident she could paint with the best of the male painters.

During World War I, Peterson painted war-oriented subjects that were exhibited and sold (or donated) to promote Liberty Loans and the American Red Cross efforts.  In 1924, Peterson’s Toilette received rave reviews at the New York Society of Painters and a one-woman show on Fifth Avenue sold-out.  By this time, she had won numerous awards, was a Fellow at the National Academy of Design and a member of many art clubs including the American Watercolor Society, Audubon Artists, Pen & Brush Club, and the National Association of Women Artists.

In 1925, The New York Times characterized Peterson as “one of the foremost women painters in New York.” Known for her colorful, post-impressionist paintings of Gloucester streets and harbor on Cape Ann; palm trees along the Florida coast; street scenes in Paris, Istanbul and New York City; boating views in Venice, Italy and elsewhere, Peterson also flamboyantly executed floral subjects and dynamic genre-like-portraits.  She was given over 80 one-woman exhibitions and was recognized as a uniquely talented painter of distinction before her death on August 14, 1965.


Biography, J.J. Joseph, Introd. P.J. Pierce, Jane Peterson, American Painter, 1982.

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Carmel:
Jane Peterson was born in Elgin, Illinois, in 1876.  Peterson attended the Pratt Institute and studied at the Art Students League in New York.  Following her studies, Peterson was offered teaching posts, which she would not keep long, preferring to continue her education in Paris, Venice, London, and Madrid.

Through all this instruction, Peterson developed a unique vision in American art.  Her works are a blend of Impressionist and Expressionist styles.  Known for her vivid, richly painted still-lives and beach scenes painted along the Massachusetts coast.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


Jane Peterson is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Impressionists Pre 1940
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915
Women Artists



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