The Restoration Story
The John Frederick Peto House and Studio is a pivotal (contributing) resource within the Island Heights Historic District, a New Jersey State and National Register Historic District placed on the National Register in 1981. The National Register nomination states: now a museum dedicated to the renowned American still-life artist John Frederick Peto (who also designed much, if not all, of the house), the building is a Queen Anne structure on an irregular plan. It was built in 1890, and is 2-1/2 stories high.
The John Frederick Peto House and Studio possesses historical and architectural significance of great value to the Borough of Island Heights. It is a monument to the life and work of renowned still-life painter John Frederick Peto, often called the American Rembrandt. Peto designed the house and studio; at the start of this project they still contain some of his furniture and the artifacts which he depicted in his paintings. Although previously identified as being designed in the Queen Anne style, the architecture is more characteristic of the geometric and simpler Shingle Style. Although the house had been altered, it still conveys the feeling of a late nineteenth century rustic Victorian house. It is unique as an example of an artist’s home and studio, as designed by the artist, and is evocative of his art and his personality. The property is also one of only a handful of historic house museums that celebrate the life of a famous American artist. It has remained in, and been cared for, by the Peto Family for 115 years.
Source: Historic Building Architects, LLC Trenton, NJ. Includes Information Provided by Zakalak Associates.