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 Peter Marienus Camfferman  (1890 - 1957)

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Lived/Active: Washington      Known for: modernist landscape, etching, education

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Peter Marienus Camfferman
An example of work by Peter Marienus Camfferman
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A landscape painter, etcher and art educator, Peter Camfferman was born in The Hague, Holland and at age twelve, emigrated to America.  He studied with Andre Lhote at the Lhote Atelier in Paris and at the Minneapolis School of Fine Art where he met his future wife, Margaret Gove Camfferman.  The couple married in 1914, and the following year moved to Langley, Washington on Whidbey Island where they built a home they called Brackenwood.  They did all of the work by hand including the making of furniture out of driftwood they gathered.  The site included cabins for visiting artists and became known as the Brackenwood Art Colony.  They held art classes on their property, and Peter was a teacher at the Helen Bush Art School in Seattle.

The couple lived at Langley for the remainder of their lives, with the exception of a year in New York City, 1925-1926.  Both were members of Seattle's Group of Twelve and Peter was also a member of the Puget Sound Group. Both were highly regarded within the regional art community.  They were also some of the early modernist painters in the Northwest. 

Peter Camfferman exhibited paintings in his own region, in New York City and San Francisco.  Venues included the Seattle Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Golden Gate Exposition of 1939, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1933.  Among titles of his landscape paintings are Granite Falls and The Passing of the Virgin Forest.

He died in 1957 in Langley, Washington.


Sources include:
Peter Hastings Falk (Editor), Who Was Who in American Art, pp. 550-551
Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West, p. 81
David Martin, Martin-Zambito Fine Art
Robert Ladd, son of Seattle painter, Helen Ladd (1902-1987).

Biography from Martin-Zambito Fine Art:

Peter M. Camfferman
1890-1957

Peter Camfferman along with his wife, Margaret Gove Camfferman were among the earliest Modernist painters active in the Northwest.

They were both members of  Seattle’s progressive “Group of Twelve”.

He was born in the  Hague, Netherlands and emigrated to the US  around 1902. He attended the Minneapolis School of Arts and married fellow art student Margaret Gove in 1914.

The Camfferman’s arrived at Whidbey Island, Washington in 1915 and built their own home along with studio’s for visiting artists. They called their home Brackenwood and Peter built most of the furniture in the house from driftwood that they collected on the shore.

Peter began exhibiting around 1920 at the Seattle Fine Arts Society in the Northwest Annuals which were later held at the Seattle Art Museum. In the early 1920’s, Camfferman studied with Stanton MacDonald Wright and was influenced by the movement known as  “Synchromism” which Wright co-founded with Morgan Russell.

Camfferman adapted the style and extant paintings by him in this manner date as early as 1920 making his experimentations in abstraction earlier than most northwest artists.

During the 1920’s and 30’s, the Camfferman’s traveled extensively throughout the US, Mexico and Europe to study and paint. In 1932, Peter studied in Paris with the Cubist painter Andre L’hote who had a profound influence on his work.

Peter’s exhibition history includes the NY Society of Independent Artists, Chicago Art Institute, Los Angeles County Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, NYC, Oakland Art Gallery, the New York Municipal Exhibition at Rockefeller Center in NYC and numerous others. There is a representative selection of his work at the Seattle Art Museum where he had several solo exhibitions throughout his career.


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