Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Artist in Residence

The Peterson family befriended the artist Atanas Tasev while living in Washington, D.C. Tasev was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1897 where he studied painting. He attended the Academy in Prague and lived in the city for twenty-seven years. In 1946, he left Czechoslovakia for Sweden and finally came to the United States in 1948. Tasev became an American citizen on October 13, 1953.

Tasev painted portraits, landscapes, and street scenes in Europe and continued his portrait work in Washington, D.C., as well as New York. Tasev frequently visited the Peterson’s home in Ailey, Georgia, and stayed in a renovated farm building that is still referred to by the family as “Tasev’s Cabin.” Aside from painting formal portraits of Congressman and Mrs. Peterson and Senator Richard B. Russell, the artist enjoyed sketching farm animals and writing poetry. Tasev died in 1991 but his work still decorates the Peterson home and can be found throughout the letters he wrote to the family during their long friendship.

Post by Renna Tuten, Project Archivist, Russell Library

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