‘Unmasking of fraud’ helped in discovery of John F. Peto

    John F. Peto was born in 1854 in Philadelphia, where he was raised. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and is today renowned and highly regarded as an important American still life artist.

    But such was not the case while he was alive.

    In 1887, Peto visited Island Heights, a small resort town on Toms River in New Jersey.

    Two years later, in 1889, he designed and built a small house and added a studio where he painted until the end of his life in 1907.

    After his death, an art dealer began collecting his work, painting out his signature and substituting the name Franklin D. Briskoe, an artist who was better known at the time.

    The unmasking of this fraud led to the discovery and appreciation of Peto’s work.

    The house he built and lived in has since been restored as the John F. Peto Museum.

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