Roger Tory Peterson Collection
About the Artist
Roger Tory Peterson was born in 1908 in Jamestown, New York. As is often the case, it was an influential teacher who encouraged Peterson to join the Junior Audubon Club. Almost overnight, he became completely absorbed in the world of birds. Not satisfied to passively observe the birds, identifying species became a passion of his. To help with his identifications, he began making field sketches and soon thereafter decided to pursue a career as an artist.
Peterson became an instructor in science and art at the Rivers School, in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he had the first opportunity to share his joy of bird-watching with the next generation. Peterson's artistic and bird identification skills culminated in the publication of his first book, in 1934, titled, “A Field Guide to the Birds” which resulted in the Peterson Identification System.
Still working on the fifth edition of his landmark Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America, still working on several other book projects, still traveling to speak to others and share his love of birds, and still traveling to observe his beloved birds, Roger Tory Peterson died on July 28, 1996 at the age of 87. We are fortunate to see the beauty of his world while we are here, and, with Peterson, celebrate the joy of its creatures, so well expressed in his art and books.