Area: World Cultures
M.A., Museum Studies, University of Toronto, 1971
Ph.D., Art History & Decorative Arts, University of Delaware, 1987
Peter Kaellgren joined the European Department in 1972 and has worked as a curator building up the collections of ceramics, glass, silver, furniture, metalwork and design graphics. His specialty is decorative arts post-1500 AD with an emphasis on British material. Peter played a key role in creating the Samuel European Galleries. Between 1985 and 1989, he worked on the north section in the Hilary and Galen Weston Wing and from 1991 to 1994 headed the curatorial team that developed the south section in the Weston Family Wing. Recent exhibition work includes coordinating Art Deco 1910-1939 (major loan exhibition organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum), Fall 2003, and developing Déco Lalique, the glass of René Lalique and his imitators drawn from the ROM’s collections, December 2005 to January 2007.
His Master’s thesis was Chinoiserie in English Silver, and his doctoral dissertation, Stately and Formal: Side, Pier and Console tables in England, 1700-1800, examines the evolution of design and use of formal tables in architectural settings. Since 1986, Peter’s research has concentrated primarily on silver, coinciding with a tremendous growth in the silver collection as a result of gifts and bequests and resulting in small ROM silver exhibitions in 1991 and 1999 to 2002.
Among his current research projects, Peter is updating his manuscript on early English silver toys, c. 1685 to 1750 AD, which includes biographies of important early makers in addition to a catalogue of the exceptional ROM collection. Peter is also updating the original 1936 catalogue for the Lord Lee of Fareham Collection, which includes important examples of English and Continental, pre-1700 silver and vertu. The catalogue will be expanded to include all the material that came to Canada. Peter writes a variety of scholarly articles.
Peter has taught and lectured widely. He has developed credit courses on the history of European ceramics and glass for the Fine Art Department at the University of Toronto and presented at ROM programs and symposia. He has lectured in Canada, the U.S.A., and Britain and provides a week-long antiques course at Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre, St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Silver and Gold: Treasures, Fakes and Forgeries was the topic of the 18th annual Decorative Arts Symposium in 2008. The program was presented with the generous assistance of The Goldsmiths' Company of London, England.
Peter is a member of the American Ceramic Circle, the Decorative Arts Society (U.S.A.), the National American Glass Club, the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts (founding member), the Silver Society of Canada (founding member), Glasfax (Canada), and in the United Kingdom, the Furniture History Society, the Glass Circle and the Silver Society. He has provided talks and tours for a number of these societies and contributed to their journals. He is an alumnus of the Attingham Summer School and Royal Collections Studies.