Bertha Menzler Peyton (1871-1947)

Bertha Menzler Peyton (1871-1947)

Bertha Menzler graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1893 and continued her studies in Paris, where she worked under Edmond Aman-Jean and exhibited at the Paris Salons of 1895 and 1896.  With her husband Edward Dressler, she traveled throughout the American West painting the scenery of the Arizona desert and the Grand Canyon. Menzler married fellow artist Alfred Conway Peyton around 1912, settled in New York, and spent summers in East Gloucester, Massachusetts.  

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Peyton was an early member of the National Association of Woman Painters and Sculptors, and was prized for figural and landscape paintings, as well as decorative pursuits. Boston reviewer and champion of women artists Jean Nutting Oliver reported, “She has a real gift for posing a figure.” [i] In 1926, Peyton exhibited her work with one hundred and forty-five members of NAWPS, including other noted painters and sculptors such as Cecilia Beaux, Jane Peterson, Fern Coppedge, Theresa Bernstein, Mary Bradish Titcomb, Harriet Frishmuth and Malvina Hoffman. [ii]

Although Peyton has been overlooked in recent years, primarily due to a scarcity of works on the market, her exhibition history and list of prizes is lengthy. She exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1895 to 1929, from which she won prizes in 1903, 1909 and 1910, as well as at the Pennsylvania Academy and the National Academy of Design. Peyton’s work was included in both the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 and the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and she won prizes from the NAWPS in 1926 and the North Shore Art Association in 1930. She exhibited regularly at Grand Central Galleries and Macbeth Galleries in New York.


[i] Boston Public Library Artist Files, undated clipping.

[ii] Brooklyn Museum Archives, press releases, 1926.

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