Peter Milton was born in Pennsylvania in 1930. He studied for two years at the Virginia Military Institute and completed his BFA in 1954 at Yale University under Josef Albers and Gabor Peterdi. Milton continued his studies at Yale and in 1961 received his MFA. From 1961-1968 Milton lived in Baltimore where he taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art. It was during this period when Peter Milton took an avid interest in printmaking. Over the course of fifty years, Milton has created intricate visual worlds in more than 160 prints, many of which took well over a year to make.
Working in layers, Milton begins with drawings based on people and places, with nods to Western art history and culture. He is a master of the appropriated image, a term that may conjure Andy Warhol and his Pop Art comrades. But Milton steps further back in history, avoiding the Pop sense of cool advertising and popular culture references. Instead, a broader cultural past is tapped through historical photographs of key players, architecture, and locales, which he reinvents by hand. He adds content drawn from his life as an avid reader – always with multiple possible interpretations – thus incorporating deeper meaning in his cinematic worlds. Elements of Greek mythology, classical music, art history, and history coalesce in his images, which embrace the messiness, sorrow, and elation that is life. One is hard-pressed to imagine a more erudite, skilled, passionate, and cheeky soul.
Peter Milton has had over 110 single artist exhibitions since 1963. His work is in over 200 museum collections internationally including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Bibliotheque Nationale, British Museum, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University and the Library of Congress.