Peter Paone (born 1936) was born and raised in South Philadelphia. He grew up in a first-generation Italian-American home where the only art on the walls was religious in nature.
In the 1950s, Paone attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art (now the University of the Arts), where he received a bachelor of fine arts degree in art education. His instructors included Benton Spruance and other great narrative artists and illustrators.
Paone lets his subjects evolve in the course of the creative process. He explains, “One of the things I realized early on in my career was that my powers are really in my imagination. I don’t work from nature. I don’t work from a subject. I don’t set up still lifes and I don’t have models. I don’t go out in the garden to paint. I work from memory. I work from what I remember from what I’ve seen.”
Paone's work has been exhibited at institutions across the United States and across the globe, and he has held senior teaching positions at both Pratt Institute and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA).
He has been enthusiastically involved in the Philadelphia arts community as an artist, collector, and teacher for over five decades. In 1980, he established PAFA’s printmaking department, where he taught from 1978 to 2009, and served as the department’s first chair. He was also the vice president of the Print Club (now the Print Center) for six years and he serves on the Woodmere’s collection management committee.