Retrospective captures life and legacy of forgotten American female artist

Jane Peterson (American, 1876–1965). Lady in Yellow, n.d., oil on canvas.
Collection of the Housatonic Museum of Art.

Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art announces the exhibition Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad, a retrospective of one of the United States’ most innovative artists, on view from Sunday, May 13, through Sunday, July 22, 2018. Organized by the Mattatuck Museum, the artist’s first museum show in 45 years highlights her long and notable life and career in some 80 paintings as well as photographs and archival materials. Combining traditional techniques with avant-garde approaches, her work reveals the vibrancy of the early 20thcentury and reflects a rapidly changing art world—one becoming ever more modern.

“This is an exhibition that our visitors can appreciate on many levels,” says CMA Executive Director Della Watkins. “It’s an exciting opportunity to see how an artist grew and changed throughout her career, it gives us a window into a tumultuous time in art and world history, and it’s absolutely beautiful.”

At Home and Abroad offers a comprehensive survey of the wide range of subjects Peterson produced and the styles in which she worked. She recorded her numerous travels abroad, first as a student to England, Spain, and France, then Italy and Yugoslavia before heading to Egypt and Turkey. Her home cities of New York; Palm Beach, Florida; and Gloucester, Massachusetts were important to her work as were pictures of women, usually in quiet reverie or at the dressing table. Floral still life and lush gardens also make up a significant part of her canon.

“Jane Peterson was fiercely independent, highly adventurous, and remarkably talented,” says CMA Chief Curator Will South. “She never allowed the societally imposed constraints of her gender to stifle her considerable ambitions.”

Peterson explored the innovative painting techniques of the early 20th century. She trained with Arthur Wesley Dow at New York’s prestigious Pratt Institute, with Joaquin Sorolla in Madrid, with Frank Brangwyn in Venice and London, and with Jacques Blanche and Andre L’Hote in Paris, where she befriended Gertrude and Leo Stein and frequented their famous salons. Her style moved from Impressionist to Fauvist, from Realism to Modernist abstraction. The variety of works in the exhibition demonstrates not only Peterson’s physical journeys, but her artistic one as well.

“Jane Peterson enjoyed an enviable popularity in her lifetime, fell into obscurity, and is now being fully reassessed in the light of this visually rich retrospective,” says South. “This is an exhibition historians need to better understand early 20th-century art, and happily it is one every visitor can enjoy for its wealth of carefully crafted, exuberantly colored images of a bygone world.”

Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad is presented through the generosity of our sponsors and grantors. Presenting Sponsor: Hannah and Ron Rogers. Contributing Sponsors: Gail Morrison and Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA. Friend Sponsors: ReNewell, Inc. Fine Art Conservation, Kathleen and Kirkman Finlay, Carolyn Kessler-Greenberg, The Braddock Group of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Mrs. Dorothy Poston, and Mrs. Myrtle T. Robinson. Patron Sponsors: Walda Wildman and AgFirst Farm Credit Bank. Additional support from Beth Richardson. Media Sponsors: Free Times, WXRY, and Grace Outdoor. Grantors: Richland County and the City of Columbia. Support for the CMA exhibition program is provided by Lipscomb Sponsors: Marcia Stine, Lynn Robertson, and Marcia and Allen Montgomery.

The exhibition was organized by the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Upcoming At Home and Abroad Programs and Activities:
Gallery Tour: Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad
Saturdays throughout the exhibition | 1:00 p.m.
Sundays throughout the exhibition | 2:00 p.m.
A guided tour provides an overview of this exhibition of the quintessential American artist — well-schooled in her craft and well-travelled, open to the possibilities of a changing world. Free with membership or admission.

Passport to Art: Impressions of a Journey
Sunday, May 13 | Noon – 3:00 p.m. | Tour at 1:00 p.m.
This month, we are painting like Impressionists! Get in touch with your inner artist as you create a mini canvas. At 1:00 p.m. learn about an American Impressionist on a tour of Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad. This drop-in program for families features a new hands-on art project each month. Free.

Members’ Opening Reception for Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad 
Thursday, May 17 | Doors open 7:00 p.m. | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Join us to celebrate the opening of Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad in the newly renovated Loft space with an opening reception. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.Individual membership admits one. All other levels admit two. Guests are $25 each. Cash bar. $5 valet parking. RSVP to 803-799-2810 or

Lecture: Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad 
Friday, May 18 | Noon
Jane Peterson is the quintessential American Impressionist — well-schooled in her craft and well-traveled, open to the possibilities of a changing world. Her work reveals the vibrancy of the early 20th century and mirrors the concerns of a rapidly changing art world. Chief Curator Will South offers valuable insight on this artist and the importance of her work being exhibited in a museum again after 45 years. Free with membership or admission.

An Evening Abroad Tour and Tasting
Thursday, May 24 | 6:00 p.m.
Art has the ability to transport you to another place; now get a chance to do so with wine. In this Tour and Tasting, enjoy an educational wine tasting presented by the knowledgeable staff at Bottles Beverages Superstore. Journey through the works in Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad with a docent-led tour. Charcuterie provided by Classic Catering. $60 / $55 for members.

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