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Peter Trippi

Honorary Visiting Fellow


BA (College of William and Mary, Virginia), MA (New York University), MA (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Peter Trippi is an Honorary Visiting Fellow in the Department of the History of Art. Based in New York City, Peter Trippi is an arts professional with extensive experience inmuseums, independent curating, fundraising, art journalism, and editing (both scholarly andgeneral).

As Director of the Dahesh Museum of Art (New York), he served as chief artistic and administrative officer of a 40-person staff and 30,000-square foot facility in midtown Manhattan with an annual operating budget of $4.5m. There he was responsible for daily operations and planning at America’s only institution devoted to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting nineteenth-century European academic art. In this role he served as senior spokesperson, lead fundraiser, and primary liaison to the Board of Trustees.

Previously he headed the fundraising department at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, working closely with Director Arnold L. Lehman while supervising 14 fundraising and support staff active in foundation and government grants, corporate sponsorships and municipal operating grants, trustee and planned giving, annual fund, membership, and special events.

Since 2006 Trippi has conducted a successful career as an art journalist and independent curator. He is Editor-in-Chief of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, the bi-monthly periodical serving North American collectors of representational painting, sculpture, drawings, and prints; it is sold primarily through subscription and at every Barnes and Noble store, and is distributed at many art fairs. In this role, Trippi plans, commissions, edits, writes, and approves all editorial content.

Trippi is a longstanding collaborator with Professor Liz Prettejohn on exhibition projects. They co-organized John William Waterhouse: The Modern Pre-Raphaelite, the first touring retrospective devoted to the British painter J W Waterhouse RA (1849–1917). Collaborating with Groninger Museum deputy director Patty Wageman and Robert Upstone (Tate Britain), they opened the exhibition opened at Groningen in Dec 2008 (143,000 visitors), then the Royal Academy of Arts, London (126,850 visitors) in Jun 2009, and finally the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Sep 2009 (87,664). Peter Trippi helped select all artworks, co-edited the 240-page catalogue and wrote its opening chapter, drafted wall text, presented lectures, and gave media interviews at all venues. He planned and appeared in a 52-minute documentary broadcast by AVRO in Netherlands, as well as 10 three-minute films about specific masterworks.

More recently, Trippi and Prettejohn co-organized Lawrence Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity, a touring retrospective of the Anglo-Dutch painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema RA (1836–1912) with unprecedented emphasis on his artistic/architectural collaborations with wife Laura and daughter Anna. Collaborating with Ivo Blom (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) and staff at the Fries Museum, they opened the exhibition in Oct 2016 at the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden (the artist’s hometown, 158,000 visitors), then the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere (Vienna, 100,000 visitors), and finally Leighton House Museum (London, 32,000 visitors). Trippi and Prettejohn co-authored the exhibition concept proposal that won the Fries Museum a 500,000 euro grant from the Turing Foundation. Their co-edited 240-page catalogue (Prestel, Munich) contains Trippi’s essay on Tadema’s theatre designs. Trippi lectured at the Fries Museum and led a public gallery tour at the Belvedere. Trippi participated prominently in press events at all three venues and planned/appeared in the 30-minute documentary broadcast by Omrop Fryslan in the Netherlands. This project was a finalist in the 2017 Global Fine Art Awards program (Best Impressionist and Modern [1838–WWII] Solo Artist Exhibition).

From 2016 through 2018, Trippi acted as Curatorial Adviser to the Drents Museum (Netherlands) and Kunsthalle Emden (Germany) for their joint exhibition The American Dream: American Realism 1945–2017. Presented in two halves simultaneously, it drew 140,000 visitors to the Drents Museum and 50,000 to the Kunsthalle Emden. Trippi wrote an essay on figurative art for the accompanying catalogue (W Books), lectured at the Drents Museum, and participated in a 30-minute documentary broadcast by Drenthe TV in the Netherlands.

In Boston, Trippi is now acting as Guest Co-Curator of an exhibition highlighting approximately 50 American and European paintings from the collections of the nonprofit organization Historic New England. In 2020, he and staff curator Nancy Carlisle will mount this show at the Eustis Mansion in Milton, Massachusetts, and will write all essays and entries for the accompanying online catalogue.

Trippi is an associate brother of the Art Workers’ Guild (London) and a member of the Century Association (New York).


Peter Trippi’s primary area of research is British art (paintings, sculpture, watercolours, anddrawings) from c.1850 to c.1925. He is particularly interested in members of the Royal Academy of Arts who worked in the academic tradition in the final quarter of the nineteenth century. He is also interested in the history of collecting and museums, the evolution of artists’ studio-houses,and links between British artists and the Paris art world during this period. As Editor-in-Chief of Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, Trippi has developed deep expertise in contemporary realist art, especially in the US.


Author / Co-Editor


  • Author, J W Waterhouse, 2002. Largest-ever monograph on British painter and Royal Academician (1849–1917). Published in hardback by Phaidon (London); paperback 2005. 60,000 words (252 pages), most of 220 plates in color. Translated into French and Japanese 2006. Now in its 14th edition. Awarded Victorian Society in America’s William E. Fischelis Prize for best book on Victorian art or architecture, 2003. Longlisted for 2003 William MB Berger Prize for British Art History (sponsored by British Art Journal).
  • Co-Editor and Author, John William Waterhouse: The Modern Pre-Raphaelite, 2008. 240-page (60,000-word) exhibition catalogue co-published by Groninger Museum and Blondé (Belgium). Co-edited (with Prof. Elizabeth Prettejohn) contributions from four co-curators. Authored 3,200-word introduction outlining artist’s biography. Published in Dutch, French, and English editions (hardback and softback).
  • Co-Editor, Change/Continuity: Writing about Art in Britain Around 1900, 2015. Planned and co-edited with Martina Droth (Yale Center for British Art) anthology of essays by 11 scholars, appeared in Summer 2015 issue of peer-reviewed scholarly journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, Originated out of academic session co-chaired with Droth at 2008 College Art Association annual meeting.
  • Co-Editor and Author, Lawrence Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity, 2016. 240-page (60,000-word) exhibition catalogue co-published by Fries Museum and Prestel. Co-edited (with Prof. Elizabeth Prettejohn) contributions from 17 authors worldwide. Authored its 6,500-word essay on Tadema’s theatre designs. Published in Dutch, German, and English editions (hardback and softback).
  • Co-Convener, then Co-Editor, Alma-Tadema: Antiquity at Home and on Screen symposium, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, Oct 2017 and Jul 2018. Planned and co-convened two-and-a-half-day symposium and contributed two papers to it. Collaborated closely with PMC deputy director for research Dr Sarah Victoria Turner, Prof. Elizabeth Prettejohn (University of York), Prof. Ian Christie (Birkbeck College London), and Prof. Maria Wyke (University College London). Held at both PMC and Birkbeck College’s Institute for the Moving Image. In spring 2018, co-edited (with Prof. Prettejohn) a selection of long and short papers contributed by 26 participants as Issue 9 of PMC’s online journal British Art Studies,, published Jul 2018.


Essayist / Contributor


  • Essayist, “John William Waterhouse,” in exhibition catalogue Pre-Raphaelites and Other Masters: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, 2003.
  • Essayist, “A Drawing Tradition Renewed: Reclaiming Charles Bargue’s Cours de Dessin,” in Drawing in the Twenty-First Century: The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Practice, ed. Elizabeth A. Pergam, Ashgate, 2015.
  • Essayist, 2,100-wordessay about American figurative art for exhibition catalogue The American Dream: American Realism 19452017, 2016. Co-published by Drents Museum (Netherlands), Kunsthalle Emden (Germany), and W Books (Zwolle, Netherlands). Published in Dutch and German editions (softback).
  • Essayist, “Touring Alma-Tadema: A Look Back at the Exhibition Lawrence Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity,” in Making Waves: Crosscurrents in the Study of Nineteenth-Century Art, eds Laurinda S. Dixon and Gabriel P. Weinberg, forthcoming (2019) festschrift in honor of Prof. Petra Chu from Brepols Publishers.
  • Cataloguer, more than 20 extended entries on paintings and drawings by J W Waterhouse and Lawrence/Laura Alma-Tadema for Christie’s and Bonhams, London, 2000–present.


External Activity

  • Founding Executive Editor, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, 1999–2003. Worked closely with founding Managing Editor Prof. Petra Chu (Seton Hall University) to establish semi-annual, peer-reviewed journal, published online since Feb 2002 by Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art ( Member of advisory board since 2004.
  • President, Historians of British Art, 2011–2013; board member 2006–2015. Nonprofit organization presents at least one academic session at every annual meeting of College Art Association; publishes monthly newsletter for members; awards prizes for recently published books and also grants for forthcoming articles/research by emerging scholars.
  • Chair, US Alumni program, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2008–2011. Relaunched initiative to better engage US-based graduates through more frequent gatherings at art venues nationwide (especially New York City), to better support Institute’s fundraising efforts, and to “send off” matriculating US students during an event every August.
  • President, Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, Washington DC; board member Jun 2012–Aug 2017; President thereafter. World’s largest association of art and buildings conservators; now executing a rebranding and fundraising campaign underwritten by a $900,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant (awarded Jan 2018). Have worked closely with Executive Director Eryl Wentworth to build foundation’s board with non-conservators. Chair quarterly board meetings, usually at national headquarters and in May at annual meeting elsewhere in US.
  • President, Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art, Feb 2013–Feb 2019; served as Treasurer 2000–2004; board member at-large 2008–2013. Nonprofit organization presents at least one academic session at every annual meeting of College Art Association (CAA); publishes online journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide (see above) and semi-annual newsletter for members; co-hosts annual graduate student symposium with Dahesh Museum of Art; chair annual membership business meeting of at CAA and annual board teleconference.

Contact details

Peter Trippi
Honorary Visiting Fellow
History of Art
University of York