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John Frederick Peto and Peto family papers, 1850-1983

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Erin Corley
Scope and Contents
The papers of still life artist John Frederick Peto and his family date from circa 1850 to 1983 and measure 2.1 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.
The collection was donated in 2004 by Gregory Bejarano, John Frederick Peto's great-grandson.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing Information
The collection was fully processed by Erin Corley in 2007 and digitized in 2007 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.