|GLENS FALLS, N.Y.—Jane Peterson (1876-1965) was born to Scandinavian immigrants in a Midwestern town just a decade after the Civil War. Ideas of women pursuing higher education and even careers were just gaining traction when the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago featured The Woman’s Building.|
There, the teenager saw paintings by Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) and Mary MacMonnies (1858-1946), and likely learned about the growing women’s suffrage movement. Inspired and with her sights set on a career as an artist, Peterson ventured to New York City and enrolled at the Pratt Institute.
She went on to travel the world, befriend major artists of the time, earn a generous living, and build a life as a modern career woman. Her accomplishments are examined in Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad, an exhibition opening Sunday, August 5, at The Hyde Collection.
With more than eighty paintings and select memorabilia, the exhibition follows Peterson’s travels, her journeys through art movements, and the way she forged a path as an independent woman in a changing world. The exhibition includes works from her travels in Europe, North Africa, and at home in the United States, beginning with her introduction to Impressionism.
Peterson studied with Frank Brangwyn, Jacques Blanche, Andre L’Hote, and Joaquin Sorolla, who greatly influenced her. She painted with John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, and Maurice Prendergast. She traveled extensively with Louis Comfort Tiffany, and socialized with such artists as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.
“Jane Peterson was popular during her lifetime and this retrospective of her career makes clear why,” said Jonathan Canning, director of curatorial affairs and programming at The Hyde Collection. “She was adventurous, forward-thinking, and thrived at a point in history when women were just beginning to demand their rights. Through this exhibition, we see her evolution and, with it, the changing of the times.”
Peterson enjoyed great success throughout her career and was extremely popular among major art collectors of her time, especially John D. Rockefeller. Her works are included in museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad runs through October 12 in Wood and Feibes & Schmitt Galleries.
A companion exhibition, Changing the Landscape: Women Impressionists from the Thomas Clark Collection, also opens August 5 and sheds light on the works of twenty-one lesser-known turn-of-the-century female artists.
In the early part of the twentieth century, art gave American women opportunities they hadn’t known before. Focusing on landscapes, this exhibition includes works from artists trained in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Europe. Many studied under the likes of William Merritt Chase, Henry Twachtman, and Frank Duveneck.
“The majority of the works in this exhibition are by seldom-mentioned artist whose names were lost in the obscurity of male-dominated art history,” Canning said. “Society imposed constraints on these talented artists, but they studied among the best and deserve to be recognized.”
The exhibition is drawn from the collection of Thomas Clark, who has one of the finest private collections of American Impressionist art in upstate New York. The collection includes excellent examples from artists who emerged during and after the American Impressionist movement at the turn of the twentieth century, all of whom were contemporaries of Jane Peterson.
Changing the Landscape: Women Impressionists from the Thomas Clark Collection runs through October 21 in Whitney-Renz and Hoopes Galleries.
Saturday, August 4
The Hyde Collection offers a Member Opening event at 2 pm Saturday, August 4, for its summer exhibitions, Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad and Changing the Landscape: Women Impressionists from the Thomas Clark Collection. Be among the first to see the gorgeous Impressionist works, enjoy refreshments, learn more about the exhibitions with a gallery talk, and mingle with other art lovers. Not a member? Try being one for the day: Pay admission plus $5; if you sign on for a membership, the cost is put toward the annual fee, which starts at $60 for an individual. Free for members. Register by contacting Kayla at 518-792-1761, ext. 310, or [email protected]; registration is not mandatory. The exhibition opens to the public Sunday, August 5.
Monday, August 6
The Hyde Collection is proud to host its annual Summer Luncheon at 11:30 am August 6 at Lake George Club. This event celebrates the extraordinary volunteers who, through their dedication and love of art, imbue the Museum with their spirit. This year’s exciting event honors the late Tucky Beeman, who leaves a legacy of love and passion for The Hyde through the creation of the Garden Committee and transformation of the Butterfly Garden into a breathtaking work of art. Admission is $65 for an individual or $150 for honorary tickets. Register by clicking here or contacting External Affairs Associate Colette Broestler at 518-792-1761, ext. 346, or [email protected].
Thursday, August 9, through Sunday, August 12
Longtime plein air artist Ann Larsen presents Plein Air: Perception and Passion at 6 pm Thursday, August 9, at The Hyde Collection. The Oil Painters of America signature member will share stories about her work, her travels, and how the art world has changed throughout more than three decades as a working artist. The lecture is the opening event of The Hyde Collection’s inaugural Plein Air Festival, which runs through Sunday, August 12. Sixteen exceptional artists selected by Larsen, guest juror of the festival, will paint throughout Glens Falls, competing for Best of Show and honors in nocturne, waterway, streetscape, historic buildings, and outdoor still life categories. The festival — inspired by complementary exhibitions Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad and Changing the Landscape: Women Impressionists from the Thomas Clark Collection — culminates at the Museum’s annual free Community Day celebration Sunday, August 12. The artists’ completed artwork will be displayed throughout the day and at 3 pm, awards will be given in each category. Artists from the community are also encouraged to create their own plein air works; to participate, register with collaborative partner Plein Air Adirondack.Plein Air: Perception and Passion is $5 for members and $8 for non-members. Register by contacting Kayla at 518-792-1761, ext. 310, or [email protected].
Sunday, August 12
The Hyde Collection’s Community Day is taking fine art to the streets, then back to the Museum from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, August 12. The event includes a friendly family competition, a scavenger hunt adventure, tours, and more — and serves as the culmination of the Museum’s inaugural Plein Air Festival, three days of artists painting al fresco throughout downtown Glens Falls. During Community Day, families of any configuration are invited to a battle of creativity in the Family Art Battle. Pick up a kit of supplies from The Hyde’s education team, create a collaborative artwork, and be entered to win a Family Membership to the Museum. At 1 and 4 pm, Museum educators will offer a Family Tour and Gallery Activity of the recently opened exhibitions Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad and Changing the Landscape: Women Artists from the Thomas Clark Collection. Throughout the day, docents will offer tours of Hyde House and visitors can put what they learned to the test with a Scavenger Hunt on the Museum’s Guide by Cell audio tour app. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Corner Kitchen Café. Stewart’s Shops will provide ice cream. Free.