Late Life and Career

By the mid-1940s, Carl Peters had returned to his passion of landscape painting, and continued to split his time between Fairport and Rockport. He taught, visited art exhibitions, and painted in solitude. While this was a stark contrast to the business and stress he had experienced during his time working for the Works Progress Administration, there is no doubt that this was a welcome break.

Carl and Blanche Peters in Rockport.

In 1946, Peters met Blanche Peaselee while painting in Rockport. While she was not a painter, she was very interested in art, and during his summers in Massachusetts this was something they connected on. Following a romance in the summer of 1948, the two were married just after the death of Louisa, Carl’s mother. In the last couple years of his mothers life, and the sudden loss of his family through his divorce with Christine, Carl had been feeling immensely lonely while in Fairport, and found himself much more drawn to Lockport, where he felt that he had friends and a community. Though this feeling would persist through his later life, the marriage between Carl and Blanche would provide solace to Carl. The newly married couple took over the Peters family farm in Fairport and continued to live there for most winters until Carl’s death.[15]

Carl Peters with other artists in Rockport, Massachussetts
Carl Peters' Headstone in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Fairport NY.

Carl and Blanche did not have any children together, and would spend their later years enjoying their time together, even spending some winters in Rockport. These winters led to most of Peters’ coastal winter scenes featuring boats covered in ice and snow, since his previous Rockport scenes had only been from the spring and summer. His late career was certainly successful, and he continued to exhibit art at a variety of locations, but he had always been a man of solitude and few words. By his late career, he was successful enough to simply do what he loved: be outside and paint. Only a year after his final one-man show at the Century Club in 1979, Carl Peters died on July 7th, 1980. He was survived by his wife, Blanche, and his two children, Elaine and Gay.[16]

Following his death, Carl Peters’ works continued to be shown in hundreds of exhibitions across the country. His paintings scattered, some remaining in the personal estate of Blanche, but others making their way to the permanent collections of museums such as the Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester and the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C.[17] Though Peters never sought fame and was content with being able to practice his craft in peace, his landscape paintings are remembered as a beautiful example of American Regionalism at its prime, and his murals are remembered in Rochester as the legacy of a great local painter.