Through the Lens


Through the Lens: John Frederick Peto and the Art of Photography

Current Exhibition will be extended until April 9, 2017

John F. Peto is celebrated as a foremost 19th century American artist and his paintings containing images of photographs, especially of Abraham Lincoln, are arguably some of his most famous works.   However, the art that he created from behind the camera is a little-known part of Peto’s oeuvre that has never before been explored in exhibition form.


Sourcing from the collections of the John F. Peto Studio Museum, Smithsonian Archive of American Art (Washington, D.C.), Brandywine River Museum of Art (Chadds Ford, PA), Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington, DE) and private collections, this exhibition brings together original photographic prints, glass plate negatives, paintings by the artist, Peto-owned objects depicted in his paintings and photographs, as well as the artist’s camera used to create his photographs.  The exhibition will include numerous portraits taken by Peto along with a wide variety of other historic and rarely seen images.  These include early photographs of Island Heights and Ocean County,New Jersey, work by Peto relative and American Civil War-era photographer William H. Bell (1830-1910), interior and exterior images of the house and artist’s studio which Peto designed, self-portraits taken in the studio, and staged pictures of Peto with family and friends, including his colleague and mentor, the renowned American still life painter William Harnett (1848-1892).  This long-overdue examination of a relatively unknown aspect of this New Jersey artist’s life and work will be on view from October 8, 2016 – April 9, 2017

Located at 102 Cedar Avenue, Island Heights, NJ. The museum is open for guided tours of the house and special exhibition Monday through Friday by Appointment and on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm. Admission is $10 adults, $5 children, 12 and under FREE. For information call 732-929-4949.

Information: (732) 929-4949 or