Peter Marcus (1889 – 1934)
Untitled, undated. Oil

Peter Marcus (1889 – 1934)
Early Member
MMoA Permanent Collection

Peter Marcus was born Herman Marcus in New York City, the only child of Anna R. Hand and jeweler George Elder Marcus. The son and grandson of draftsmen, he studied at the Art Students League of New York, and the École des Beaux Arts and École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris at age 19. Upon his return to New York City, he briefly worked as a jewelry designer for the family business before being introduced to his father’s friend, Henry Ward Ranger, whose painting can be seen to the right. Though he never was a pupil of Ranger’s, Marcus received critical feedback about his paintings from the internationally acclaimed National Academician while Ranger was residing in Noank, Connecticut.

After Ranger’s death Marcus studied with Charles Harold Davis, who introduced him to the Mystic Art Association. He exhibited sketches for the first time at the Mystic Art Association in 1915 under the name Herman Marcus, before changing his first name and later appearing in the MAA Annual Exhibition as Peter.

Best known for his drawings and etchings, Marcus was also a talented painter, as can be seen in this untitled landscape. Unfortunately, many of his possessions and artworks were destroyed in a fire at the home he and his family were renting in Old Mystic in 1924. Marcus’ love for the region was unabated however, and the family moved permanently to Stonington, Connecticut in 1929.