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12 August 2011

John F. Peto Studio Museum

I've been doing a lot of traveling this summer (Upstate NY, Westchester County NY, NYC, Eastern Long Island, Maine, the Jersey Shore), and I am getting ready to leave for my workshop in Arizona at Sedona Arts Center (which begins on Monday!). With all my travels (and no laptop), I've got many paintings ready to be posted to my blog -- and I have lots of experiences to share.

Last week, I visited the remarkable John F. Peto Studio Museum in Island Heights, NJ. This year, I've been doing some reading about American painting, and earlier this year became re-acquainted with John Frederick Peto (1854-1907), "an important late nineteenth-century figure in the trompe l’oeil school of American still life painting," who also happened to be born in Philadelphia. (!) The John F. Peto Studio Museum features the home and studio of Peto.

Coincidentally, this summer I was lucky enough to get to know a fellow Art in the Open artist, who just happens to be one of the amazing folks taking care of restoring Peto's Studio in nearby New Jersey. So, along with the generosity of one of my amazing high school art teachers, I was fortunate to be taken on a private tour of Peto's studio and home.

It was incredible, to say the least! I got to walk through Peto's home, see much of his original furniture, spend time in his studio, study the light cascading through his north-facing windows, and see his brushes and still life objects up close! I don't even know which was my favorite part because it was all so memorable.

The Island Heights community is doing a phenomenal job with the Museum, and if you are looking to make any donations this year, I highly recommend you consider giving to the Peto Studio Museum (it's a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization - all donations are tax deductible). Anyway, I was lucky enough to see the actual objects pictured in the painting to the right -- and they were set up just as they are in the painting. I can't wait to go back and visit!