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Peter TaylorSeptember 12, 2007
Local artist Peter Taylor, 75, died at his home in Troy on September 12 surrounded by family members after a two-year battle with cancer. He was the only child of Mary H. Taylor, a tireless Troy advocate and member of the Rensselaer County Historical Society, and Dean P. Taylor, a Member of Congress and New York State Chairman of the Republican Party. Peter Taylor spent a significant part of his life in the Collar City and resided on Taylor Lane, a street named after his family who first settled in Troy during the 19th century.
Peter Taylor attended Colgate University, received a Bachelor's degree from Syracuse University, and was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree by the University at Albany. As a young man visiting Cuba, he was befriended by another American visitor: Ernest Hemingway. Although Peter Taylor's subsequent adventures included running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, he was known for both his gentle nature and as a true Renaissance man.
After working at CBS in New York City, he returned to Troy and taught studio art and art appreciation at Hudson Valley Community College, and English literature at Skidmore College in Saratoga. Peter Taylor began painting professionally while living in New York City and he continued to pursue his art throughout his teaching career and following his retirement a decade ago. His work has been exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally.
Communicating through color, Peter Taylor's abstract paintings have been compared to finely woven tapestries with richly tactile textures. He was influenced at first by the "color field" paintings of the early 1960s but soon developed an intensely personal style. Most of his paintings emerged from memories of places he loved: the winter cornfields of Eagle Mills, New York; the pebble beaches of Cape Porpoise, Maine; flower farms in southern France, and many special spots in Italy and Spain. His last exhibition, which opened in July 2007 at Long Island's Art Sites Gallery, featured paintings entitled "The Marios' Garden," "May in Andalusia," "Catalonian Chord," and "Summer Reflections on the Arno.". He often worked on a painting for a year or more before completing it.
Peter Taylor's work has been shown at Buecker and Harpsichords and 55 Mercer in New York City, Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany International Airport Gallery, The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Schenectady Museum, and numerous other galleries and museums from Troy to Maine, as well as in Norway and Poland. His paintings are in the collections of the Albany Institute of History and Art, Munson Williams Proctor Museum, University Art Museum of SUNY at Albany, Russell Sage College, and other private and museum collections in New York and abroad.
Peter Taylor was also known for his mastery of culinary arts and he often hosted a steady stream of dinner guests at his home on "The Lane." Local artists, family, and friends regularly gathered around his generous banquet table for culinary and conversational adventures.
His roots in Troy were precious to him, as were current delights and idiosyncrasies of Troy. He supported the work of the Rensselaer County Historical Society, which houses the Dean P. Taylor Resource Center, and The Arts Center of the Capital Region.
Peter Taylor is survived by his partner, Sandy Gull, his son Anthony and daughter-in-law Suzanne, his son Christian, and his cousin's Dorothy and Carolyn. His family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Community Hospice of Rensselaer (295 Valley View Boulevard, Rensselaer, New York 12144, http://communityhospice.org/rensselaer.cfm).