Peter Thornton’s Providence

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 7.23.03 AM.pngTomorrow evening at City Hall, some of the buildings of Providence that I love and have photographed over the years will be on display as buildings loved and painted by the artist Peter Thornton of our fair city. His show of stylized images, “Providence Scenes,” opens Thursday at 5-7 p.m. This looks to be a lovely and charming exhibit, not to be missed. It will run through May 15.

“The show,” according to a note sent me by the artist himself, “will feature iconic images of our fair city as depicted in a series of limited edition Giclée prints. Working sketches, photos and short commentary on each piece will also be displayed.”

At left, sitting for their portraits, are City Hall along with the Biltmore and beyond it the Westin addition (at least that’s what I call it). I am glad to hear that the artist has provided commentary on his work, as I am eager to learn, for example, of how the skating rink across from the Biltmore came to be filled not with ice but with trees. Ah! Lucky rink! Lucky artist! Among the delights of painting largely unavailable to the photographer is the ability to edit a scene so as to delight the eye. Thornton has also edited the original Westin Hotel from this painting. I have no quarrel with its defenestration on behalf of art, but I pant to discover the “why” of this magical decision by the godlike artist.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Architecture History, Art and design, Landscape Architecture, Photography, Providence, Urbanism and planning and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Peter Thornton’s Providence

  1. Pingback: Prov prints on parade | Architecture Here and There

  2. iheartrhody says:

    Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll make a point to check in on the exhibit.


  3. Pingback: Providence Views – b19y

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