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Alice Levi Duncan
Born in Illinois, Jane Peterson moved to New York in 1894 to study art at the recently opened Pratt Institute under Arthur Wesley Dow. After graduating in 1901, she continued her studies at the Art Students League with Frank Vincent Dumond. In 1907, Peterson traveled abroad for the first time. She visited London and Paris, where she studied with Frank Brangwyn and Jacques-Emile Blanche, respectively, and also toured the Continent. During her trip she was introduced to Joaquin Sorolla who offered to take her on as a student. After returning briefly to the United States in 1909—where Peterson had her first one-person show at the St. Botolph’s Club in Boston, followed by an exhibition of her work at M. Knoedler & Co. in New York—Peterson set sail for Spain, settling into Sorolla’s studio in Madrid, where she remained for the rest of the year. Following her studies with Sorolla, Peterson settled back in New York but continued to travel extensively, both at home and abroad, for much of the rest of her life.
At home in New York, Peterson took on teaching jobs to support herself as a painter and began to exhibit widely, gaining critical recognition and popular success. She was a member of the Allied Artists of America, the Audubon Artists, the American Watercolor Society, the New York Society of Paintings, and the National Association of Women Artists, among other organizations. Peterson continued to paint through the 1950s when worsening arthritis and failing health caused her to retire her brushes.