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Roger Tory Peterson: The Life, The Work, The Legacy

Roger Tory Peterson:
The Life, The Work, The Legacy
On view April 21st through August 5th, 2018

Roger Tory Peterson, Martinsburg, WV, 1949. Photo by Hal H. Harrison

RTPI is excited to present our newest exhibition, “Roger Tory Peterson: The Life, The Work, The Legacy” from April 21 – August 5, 2018. In the early 1900s, Jamestown, New York’s urban nature inspired young Roger Tory Peterson to pursue his celebrated career as a naturalist, nature artist and influential educator. Peterson brought the study of natural history to the people, in a time when this was the realm of academia only. Through his field guides, he opened the eyes of millions of everyday people to the beauty and intrinsic value of nature that exists in our backyards. Peterson’s contributions have educated generations about nature worldwide; the knowledge and passion that he shared helped spark the global modern-day environmental movement, and his legacy continues to inspire and inform to this day.

A Field Guide to the Birds, First edition, 1934

The new Peterson exhibition will feature pieces that are exclusively from RTPI’s archives. The show will reveal never before exhibited original works from the Peterson Collection, along with significant artifacts and memorabilia that will highlight areas of Roger Tory Peterson’s life and work. In addition, there will be items on view from other institutions, such as a military aircraft manual on loan from the National World War II Museum, in New Orleans, LA. According to Jane Johnson, Director of Exhibits and Special Collections, “This new exhibition will give our visitors a glimpse of some incredible early works and artifacts that are part of the life’s work of our namesake, this spectacular artist and naturalist. We are very excited to be sharing these treasures from our special collections with the public, and are looking forward to providing a new type of visitor experience in our facility going forward. Roger’s work and life accomplishments are fascinating, and we want our visitors to view this firsthand.” This exhibit was generously supported by M&T Bank.