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collections > permanent collection > prints > Peter milton

Peter Milton
(American, b. 1930)
Points of Departure I: Mary's Turn (Mary's Turn I: Visiting Degas), 1994
Resist-ground etching and engraving, 8/20, 18" x 28”
Gift of the Frank and Margaret Sullivan Fund (97.179)

Peter Milton’s large and highly complex etchings are among the tours-de-force of American printmaking.  Dating to 1994, Points of Departure I:  Mary’s Turn embodies the meticulously rendered settings and dreamlike atmosphere for which Milton is best known.  In Mary’s Turn, artist Mary Cassatt is depicted playing pool with French Impressionist Edgar Degas.  Several figures recognizable from Cassatt’s paintings look on, while Degas himself holds a pool cue and strokes his chin.  Paintings by both artists hang on the wall, and in the background, additional figures arrange themselves into inscrutable vignettes.  A number of pool balls appear to float in mid-air, reinforcing the irrational and fantastic quality of the image.

Milton studied art with Josef Albers at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture.  Setting out as a painter, he turned to etching after discovering that he was colorblind.  During the 1960s, Milton won a series of prizes for his graphic work, establishing his career as a professional printmaker.  Since that time, the artist has exhibited his work nationally and internationally.  In recent years, Milton has experimented with computer graphics, producing his first digital work in 2008.