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The Museum Today

The museum features the home and studio of John Frederick Peto (1854-1907), an important late nineteenth-century figure in the trompe l’oeil school of American still life painting.

The John F. Peto Studio Museum is one of a handful of historic house museums that documents the aesthetic, work habits, and lifestyle of a significant American artist. Professionally restored to preserve the integrity of the artist’s vision, the house was constructed in 1889 according to Peto’s specifications. Until acquisition in 2005 by a benefactor, “Peto’s Studio” was  family-owned for 115 years.

Collections and Exhibits

The John F. Peto Studio Museum displays reproductions of the artist’s paintings in addition to artifacts depicted in many of the compositions. The permanent collection also contains original palettes, historic photographs, news clippings and other  documents useful to studying Peto’s life and work.

Peto's Studio Today. Photo by Paulette Omura

Original artifacts and furnishings are arranged in three ground-level rooms, including Peto’s two-story studio, and one upstairs bedroom, to illustrate their appearance during the artist’s residency (1889-1907).  Visitors to the 2 ½ story house will also observe many aspects of late Victorian décor and Shingle-style architecture.

The intimate galleries display circulating exhibits that offer insights on still life, trompe l’oeil, regional art, and other themes  pertinent to Peto’s artistry, time period, milieu, interests and surrounding community.

The museum’s beautiful, turn-of-the-century gardens were researched by a landscape architect but go beyond historically  correct preservation of the grounds.

Programs and Activities

The John F. Peto Studio Museum will offer innovative programs and events related to Peto’s art and times. It will also act as a  cultural center, offering a broad range of educational and cultural activities across the arts.

Mission and Support

The John F. Peto Studio Museum could become the first New Jersey landmark admitted to the National Trust Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program. We would also like to acquire original paintings to enhance the permanent collection.

We invite you to support the establishment of a world-class museum in Island Heights. Contributing to the John F. Peto  Studio Museum is an investment in community—whether you live in Island Heights, greater Toms River, Ocean County or  New Jersey.

Be a part of the energy! Help us create a lasting resource for education and research in history and the arts. Help us revitalize the arts and local community.
The John F. Peto Studio Museum is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  All donations are tax deductable.