John Frederick Peto and Peto family papers, circa 1850-1983
Peto, John Frederick, 1854-1907
Frankenstein, Alfred Victor
Harnett, William Michael
Peto, John Frederick
Smiley, Helen Peto
Place of publication, production, or execution:
2.1 linear feet.
The collection is arranged into 5 series: Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1870s-1983 (Box 1, OV 5; 9 folders) Series 2: Correspondence, 1862-1983 (Box 1; 4 folders) Series 3: Printed Material, 1880-1983 (Box 1, OV 5; 11 folders) Series 4: Photographs, circa 1850-1980 (Box 2-4, OV 5; 0.8 linear feet) Series 5: Artwork, circa late 1800s (Box 4; 1 folder)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The papers of still life artist John Frederick Peto and his family date from circa 1850 to 1983 and measure 1.3 linear feet. Within the papers are scattered biographical materials, including his marriage certificate, a memorial poem written by Samuel Callan, Helen Peto Smiley's notes about her father's artwork, and other brief writings about Peto and trompe-l'oeil painting. Correspondence includes a few letters to and from Peto, his daughter Helen Peto Smiley's correspondence with galleries, scholars, such as art critic Alfred Frankenstein, and others concerning Peto's artwork, and miscellaneous correspondence. Printed material consists of news clippings about Peto, his family, and fellow artist William Harnett, exhibition catalogs, reproductions of artwork, and other items. Photographs and glass plate negatives depict Peto in his studio, with family, and with Harnett, as well as his family, his home and studio in Island Heights, New Jersey, and his artwork. Also found is one small fragment of an oil sketch, unsigned and undated.
Much of the collection, including Helen Peto's notes and correspondence, the printed material, and photographs of artwork document the mid-twentieth century renewed interest in Peto's artwork.
John Frederick Peto and Peto family papers, circa 1850-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
John Frederick Peto (1854-1907) was a painter from Island Heights, N.J.
Donated 2004 by Gregory Bejarano, Peto's great-grandson.
The papers of John Frederick Peto and the Peto family in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2006. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 665 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001