Amherst Magazine

Peter Marks ’56

Peter Marks ’56 died June 13, 2010.
(view alumni profile - Log-in required)

Read obituary

PETER MARKS ’56

Peter Marks died at his home on June 13, 2010, after a two-year battle with cancer. Except for his four years at Amherst, Peter lived his life in New York City. He graduated from the High School of Music and Art. After a brief stint in publishing, he opened a gallery, Peter Marks Works of Art, Inc., specializing in Southeast Asian and Islamic antiquities. As a dealer, he made important contributions to the field of Asian art. Peter also made important contributions to the Mead Art Museum: from 1965 to 1986, he made gifts of 26 works of art, including bowls, pots, a vase, ceremonial axes and knives, a bracelet, fragments from friezes and sculpted figures. 

            Peter was motivated by a strong desire to find great art and to make it available to large audiences. His description of traveling in the jungles of Madagascar was fascinating and might have made a novel. Peter didn’t write that one, but he did publish three others: Collector’s Choice (1972), Hang Ups (1973) and Skullduggery (1987). He also wrote screenplays with his brother Walter ’55; one, The Butler Did It, was produced off-Broadway.

            Peter retired from art dealing in 2002. He then transformed his Manhattan gallery space into a studio, where he painted large non-figurative canvasses. This was an extraordinarily happy time in Peter’s life. It was not retirement but fulfillment. 

            Peter is survived by his wife of 45 years, Jean; son Ben ’88, daughter-in-law Elizabeth Morrison ’90 and their children, Sophie and Eli; daughter Annie; and son Sam and daughter-in-law Lauren Pesso. He is also survived by his brother Walter and sister-in-law Joan Brooker.  

            Peter voiced disappointment that he was probably the only member of our class to have a career in the fine arts. That may be true, but considering his accomplishments in that field, perhaps we needed only one.

—Dick Hauser ’56

 

Quick Links

Post Your Remembrance

To post a remembrance for an individual, click on "Add Comment."