Wednesday, November 7, 2018

COMING TO MORVEN MUSEUM GALLERIES: Masters of Illusion: The Legacy of John F. Peto

Peto's LegacyMasters of Illusion: The Legacy of John F. Peto

WHEN: November 15, 2018–May 12, 2019. Opening Reception: November 14 at 6 p.m.
Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton St, Princeton

Morven is pleased to partner with the John F. Peto Studio Museum,  to present a new look at trompe l’oeil art in New Jersey. Trompe l’oeil, pronounced “tromp loi,” is a French phrase meaning “to deceive the eye,” which is used to describe paintings that create the illusion of a three-dimensional scene. 

Born in Philadelphia in 1854, John Frederick Peto is now recognized as one of America’s most accomplished trompe l’oeil artists. After studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Peto moved to Island Heights, New Jersey where he played cornet in the Methodist Camp and worked quietly out of the public eye. In addition to Peto’s paintings, the exhibition will feature Peto’s photography done in and around Island Heights.


The John F. Peto Studio Museum is housed in the 19th century home and studio he built. In addition to preserving Peto’s history, the museum has become the place to view the work of contemporary trompe l’oeil artists. 

One of Morven’s galleries will present his legacy through contemporary artists who have participated in the Peto Museum’s Tri-State Invitational Exhibition. 

Two final galleries will represent the work of New Jersey’s most well-known contemporary trompe l’oeil artist, Gary Erbe.  Morven is delighted to exhibit a portion of Gary Erbe: 50 Year Retrospective, which has traveled to The Butler Institute of American Art (OH), Brinton Museum (WY), the Reading Public Museum(PA), and the John F. Peto Studio Museum (NJ).

Images: The Marked Passage. John Frederick Peto (1854–1907). Oil on academy board. Image courtesy of the Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Mrs. Alfred H. Barr, Jr. (y1985-39)

Master of the Ruptured Word, 2015. Gary Erbe. Oil on canvas. Gerald Peters Gallery, NYC.