Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Montage | Gallery

"The Monet of the Mountaintop"

March-April 2007

Peter C. Liman, M.A.T. ’63, spent his business career as a marketing executive in toiletries and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals—first with Clairol, then Old Spice, Brut (when he hung out with athlete endorsers Muhammad Ali and Joe Namath), Aqua Velva, and so forth. “I’ve always had a creative bent,” he says, “and I was always in charge of advertising, packaging, and the creative groups in the big companies I was with.”

Photograph courtesy of Peter Liman
Liman with his Sunflowers, painted last summer.
 

He began painting landscapes in oil about a dozen years ago, and when he retired from business in 2001, he wholeheartedly embraced painting and the smell of the open air. “It was a wonderful change,” he says. He opened a studio in Maplecrest, New York, atop Windham Mountain, the locale that so inspired the Hudson River School of artists in the mid nineteenth century. It’s Catskill territory familiar to him from boyhood, and not far from his home in Glen Rock, New Jersey.

Courtesy of Peter Liman
Winter Sunset, 2005, oil on canvas, 10 inches by 21 inches. Liman found both scenes in the Catskill Mountains.
 

He doesn’t suffer from painter’s block and has made about a hundred pictures. Although he has no formal art training, he takes lessons from an admired local artist and knows he is gaining in technical skill. His pictures could be called Impressionistic, textural in brush strokes, bold in color. A scribe at a local newspaper dubbed him “the Monet of the mountaintop.” “That’s the most flattering term anyone could ever have used about me,” says Liman. The marketer in him likes the fragrance of the phrase, and he uses it in his advertising. His is a simple success story: he knew what he wanted to do when he retired, and he is doing it with gusto.           

~Christopher Reed