John Frederick Peto
Market Basket, Hat & Umbrella, 1900
Oil on canvas, 10 x 16 inches
Inscribed Painted by My Father/ John Frederick Peto 1900/ Helen Peto Smiley/ 1949 on reverse
19th Century American frame
His daughter, Helen Peto Smiley
Victor D. Spark, New York
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1954
Donald & Jean Stralem, 1954-1995
John & Dolores Beck, Winter Park, Florida, 1995-2012
St. Petersburg, Florida, Museum of Fine Arts, An American Palette: Works from the Collection of John & Dolores Beck, November 12, 2000- January 14, 2002; Orlando Museum of Art, Florida, March 16-May 26, 2002, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina, July 10- September 8, 2002
Valerie Ann Leeds, The Collection of John & Dolores Beck, in American Art Review, vol. XII (November-December 2000): 149, 151.
Valerie Ann Leeds, An American Palette: Works from the Collection of John & Dolores Beck, exh. cat. (St. Petersburg, Florida: Museum of Fine Arts, 2000), 96, 97.
John Frederic Peto, one of America’s greatest still life painters, is famous for his lively, off-balance, abstract compositions of homespun objects.
The artist has animated this whimsical work by setting the straw hat at a jaunty, precarious angle and slightly skewing the umbrella in space to contrast with the foursquare placement of the basket. With such details as the frayed brim of the straw hat, the ragged umbrella, and the dull sheen of the market basket, Peto revels in the tactile nature of familiar things and the nostalgic notions they suggest.