Toni Petersen


Toni Petersen

      Although trained at Pratt Institute to be an art teacher, I decided teaching was not for me.  Earning a living was, and so I went on to a career as a librarian and information specialist in the field of art and architecture.  For ten years I was Executive Editor of the Bibliography of the History of Art, an NEH-funded project that provides abstracts of books and articles on art and architecture.  The last 15 years of my career were spent as director of a research project in art terminology development for the J. Paul Getty Trust, which also started as an NEH project.  The result is a ground-breaking hierarchically built vocabulary for the description and cataloging of art called The Art and Architecture Thesaurus and is available on the internet.  In 1999 I received the Distinguished Service Award from the Art Libraries Society of North America.

     After retiring to Bristol, Rhode Island, in the late 90s, I rediscovered watercolor painting, which I had loved as a student.  I find myself most drawn to flower painting and landscape, especially of the Rhode Island coast.  I have also enjoyed painting scenes from trips abroad.   I have recently been experimenting with large paintings on Japanese rice paper.  My challenge is to find a scene or floral arrangement that strikes me, and then not to reproduce it, but to bring forth its essence. 

    Since 2001 I have been exhibiting in Rhode Island, especially at the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, the Hope Gallery, the Newport Art Museum, the Portsmouth Arts Guild, and the Bristol Art Museum.  In May 2014 I had a one-person exhibit at the Gallery of the Central Congregational Church in Providence.

In May 2015 I was part of a three person exhibit at the Temple Habonim in Barrington, R.I.

     I received first prizes in watercolor at the Warren Art Festival, the Newport Art Museum and the Portsmouth Arts Guild.      I am an artist member of the Rhode Island Watercolor Society.