Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio Inc. announced its 40th anniversary celebration and upcoming exhibition of the estate of Peter Miller, a female American modernist. A selection of her works will also be featured at the 60th annual Philadelphia Show, held April 28-May 1 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A preview and anniversary party for Peter Miller – Forgotten Woman of American Modernism is set for April 23, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the gallery’s home in Doylestown.
For 40 years, Gratz Gallery has taken pride in supporting the arts and communities of New Hope, Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, working with many organizations over the years, including the James A. Michener Art Museum, the Mercer Museum, AIDS Walk New Hope, the Travis Manion Foundation and more.
This year, a portion of sales will be designated to the Philadelphia organization Philabundance, which seeks to “drive hunger from our communities today and end hunger forever.”
Over the years, Gratz Gallery has promoted and featured many important female, American artists from the New Hope Circle, The Philadelphia Ten and students from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. It’s been the gallery’s belief that female artists often don’t receive the deserved recognition for their work and talent. The discovery of the Peter Miller collection and her story is, according to the gallery, one of its most important to date.
Born Henrietta Myers in 1913, she attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1933. To demonstrate her passion and determination, she wrote in her application that “she would rather fail at painting than succeed at anything else in life.” She adopted her childhood nickname Peter and became Peter Miller after marrying fellow academy student Earle Miller in 1935. Thinking she might be taken more seriously by fellow artists, collectors and critics with a male sounding name, she hoped to enhance her career in a world heavily dominated by men.
She immersed herself in the ancient history and ceremonies of the Native Americans and befriended Henri Matisse, Max Ernst and all of the surrealists of that time living in New York. Her paintings combine the influences of early modernist painters, such as Pablo Picasso, Jean Miro, Fernand Leger, Arthur Carles and Paul Klee, with Native American symbols, petroglyphs and ceremonial objects.
Gratz Gallery invites the public to join in the tribute and transformation from a forgotten to an acknowledged woman of American modernism. The exhibition is accompanied by a first ever published monograph on the artist, fully illustrated, with text written by art historian Francis M. Naumann.
Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio is located at 5230 Silo Hill Road, Doylestown. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays, from noon to 6 p.m., and by appointment. Call 215-348-2500 or visit gratzgallery.com for more information.