About The Peters Collection
About the Peters Collection
About Harry T. Peters

A chance encounter with an old print of the famous Long Island trotting horse Lady Suffolk led Harry T. Peters to become a collector of American lithographs and one of the leading authorities in his day on the firm of Currier & Ives. Peters' early collecting focused on English color-plate books, but as Master of Fox Hounds at the Meadow Brook Hunt on Long Island for many years, he also had strong interests in horses, dogs, and hunting. At first he collected prints of those subjects, but later he developed a more comprehensive group of historical graphic works.

In the early 20th century these images were not in fashion, and Peters' advocacy of their content and charm helped interest a new generation of collectors. He was presented with the New-York Historical Society's gold medal for achievement in history for his contributions to the field of graphic arts in 1947.

The famous Long Island trotting horse Lady Suffolk

Peters appreciated the historical importance and visual appeal of American lithographs at a time when few others recognized their value. He began collecting before World War I, and he amassed several groups of prints later donated to museums. His books document the importance of this democratic medium that offered "cheap, popular pictures" serving both art and commerce. Smithsonian exhibitions and publications have included prints from the Peters Collection, and his books have been reprinted in several editions. Peters also published California on Stone (1935) to document lithography's coverage of the Gold Rush period. His research identified many early prints and printmakers from across the U.S.