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1936 - 2020
Peter Rockwell, fanciful Sculptor, dies at 83, spending his last weeks at peace visited by children and grandchildren. Peter was born in New Rochelle, NY, on September 16, 1936 to Norman Percevel Rockwell and Mary Barstow Rockwell. He and his two older brothers, Jarvis and Thomas, grew up in Arlington, VT. In 1953, the family moved to Stockbridge, MA. Peter attended Haverford College, where he graduated with an English degree, and then enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts to study sculpture full time. In 1961, Peter received a small fellowship to study carving in Carrara and he would cross the Atlantic for Italy on a Polish freighter with his wife Cynthia and 18-month old son, Geoffrey. A year later, Peter and family moved to Rome where he lived and worked most of his life and where Thomas, John and Mary were born. In Rome, Peter worked in different types of stone, in bronze, in wood, in clay and casting in resin usually showing back in the USA to earn a living. He received numerous larger commissions like the Ned Wolf Memorial in Philadelphia and Boston College's Tree of Life. A commission to carve gargoyles for the Washington Cathedral led to a lifetime love of monsters that can be found in Plymouth, MI; Philadelphia, PA; Chioggia, Italy; and Stockbridge, MA. Peter loved teaching and shared with many his love of art and art history. Over the years he taught at the American Overseas School of Rome, at St. Stephen's School and at the Tyler School of Art & Architecture. He also gave unique guided tours of sites, notably showing Rosalynn Carter the Roman Forum. He led tours across Europe, took his family on many camping trips to Greece, Turkey and Scotland, and examined sculpture in Pakistan and India. Peter was an expert in ancient stone carving technique. For years he inspired conservators to read the tool marks on unfinished statues and he consulted on such notable works as Trajan's column, the Trevi Fountain, and Bernini's Angels. He also published a number of articles and books including "The Art of Stoneworking: A Reference Guide" (Cambridge, 1993) and, with Vidya Dehejia, "The Unfinished: The Stone Carvers at Work in the Indian Subcontinent" (Roli Books, 2016). Peter had recently moved back to the US and lived in Beverly, MA, close to family, where he continued to sculpt monster faces and mermaids out of clay. Peter was predeceased by his beloved wife Cinny (Cynthia Ide) in 2013. He will be missed by his brothers Jarvis (Nova) and Thomas; his children Geoffrey (Margaret), Thomas (Rosemary), John (Lan) and Mary (Mathew); and by his grandchildren Peter, Alethea, Mateo and Alaska. There will be a Service for Peter at St. Paul's Within the Walls (of Rome) in May, 2020.

View the online memorial for Peter Barstow ROCKWELL
Published in The Boston Globe on Feb. 13, 2020
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