Peter Waddell was born in Hastings on the East Coast of New Zealand in 1955. A child of vivid imagination, his ability to paint and draw was always encouraged by his parents Colin and Penny. From Colin, owner of a cabinet making firm and former soldier in Egypt and Italy, he gained his love of craftsmanship and fascination with the ancient world; from Penny, a theatrical costumer and librarian, his ability to create dazzling effects.
After considerable success in New Zealand as an artist, Peter moved to Washington in 1992 to learn the secrets of the masters as a copyist at the National Gallery. Enamored with America and its history from the start, Peter became a United States citizen in 2002. Peter is currently artist in residence at Tudor Place in Georgetown.
Peter Waddell’s paintings reveal the beauty and awe of America’s history and architecture. He brings building and historical events to life. His interest is not just in the great men and women of history, but also the workers, servants, and ordinary people who were an important part of the story.
Waddell’s paintings both entertain and educate. They allow a window to history. Their historical authenticity is based on the highest scholarship using written accounts and material evidence. Added to the artist’s informed creativity is his unique painting skill, especially his ability to depict light, and the surfaces on which it falls.
His work includes collaborative projects with Mount Vernon, The US Capitol, The Octagon, The Museum of the American Architectural Foundation and The White House Historical Association as well as many works for private clients.
In 2011 Waddell completed his most ambitious project to date. The White House Project is a set of 14 paintings commissioned by the White House Historical Association in celebration of their 50th Anniversary with the aim of illustrating moments that took place within or in the grounds of the building from 1796 to 1902.
View the paintings & read about the project here.