The Johnson County Museum of History presented this exhibition With Grace & Wit: The Paintings of Margot Peet, 1903-1995 from May 15 - August 22, 1999. Johnson County, Kansas, is a part of the Metropolitan Kansas City area.

Marguerite Munger Peet (1903-1995) was a prolific Kansas City painter and pastelist who produced over 430 paintings during the course of her lifetime. Known familiarly as "Margot," she grew up in a prosperous merchant family who encouraged her interest in art. Her father, Williston Penfield Munger, co-owner of a local wholesale dry goods company, gave Margot her first set of oil paints when she was just seven. Margot's maternal aunt, Ruth Harris Bohan, was an accomplished oil painter who became an early role model.

From 1909 to 1921, Margot attended Kansas City's exclusive Barstow School for Girls. After graduation she attended Emma B. Hopkins French finishing school in New York City, where she received her first formal art training with pastelist Clinton Peters.

Upon returning to Kansas City in 1922, Margot studied at the Art Institute. She took a wide range of courses from a variety of instructors, most notably Thomas Hart Benton.

In 1924, Margot Munger married Herbert Orvis Peet, a Princeton graduate whose family owned the largest soap company west of the Mississippi River, Peet Brothers' Company. The couple had two daughters, Marguerite, born in 1925, and Jeannette in 1931. The family cultivated a wide circle of friends with whom they traveled, dined, played golf, and supported local civic and cultural causes. Margot Peet was actively involved in The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Society of Fellows, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, St. Luke's Hospital, the Westport Garden Club, Barstow School, and Planned Parenthood.

Despite shifting trends in the art world, Margot Peet remained a steadfast realist who quietly painted a world of beauty and refinement, which was quickly becoming a thing of the past. While she exhibited her work locally and nationally on occasion, Margot Peet never saw the scope of her artistic achievement fully recognized. This exhibition provides the first opportunity to evaluate the breadth and progression of her artistic production.


Margot Peet - Self Portrait ca. 1921
Self Portrait of
Marguerite Munger

Oil on Canvas
14 x 10 inches

Family Portraits

Garden Views and
Floral Still Lifes

Margot Peet and
Thomas Hart Benton


Travel Paintings

    The Johnson County Museums
gratefully acknowledges
the following lenders:

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Deacy
Mr. Adam R. Foster
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Orin Foster
Mr. & Mrs. H. Peet Foster
Mr. & Mrs. Reginald C. Foster
Mr. & Mrs. Rockwood H. Foster
Mr. & Mrs. Irvine O. Hockaday
The Honorable and Mrs. Charles H. Price
Mrs. Richard R. Nelson
Mrs. C. Stephen Stubbs
The George C. Marshall International Center at Dodona Manor in Leesburg, Virginia

Special thanks are extended to the H.O. Peet Foundation for their generous financial support of the exhibit, catalog, and web site.

    Johnson County Museums
6305 Lackman Road
Shawnee, Kansas 66217
Phone: 913.631.6709
Fax: 913.631.6359

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