Madeline Tourtelot Archives and Study Center Opens at PAS

The original office and studio of Peninsula Art School (PAS) founder Madeline Tripp Tourtelot re-opened to the public on Saturday, June 21.

Acquired in 2007, the building and surrounding 2.5 acres on County F house the Madeline Tourtelot Archives and Study Center, as well as future classroom space.

Madeline Tourtelot, a Chicago-native, was an accomplished and visionary artist – a painter, printmaker, photographer, film-maker, and jeweler. She began studying art at the Fish Creek Art Colony in 1934 with award-winning Chicago artist Vladimir Rousseff. In 1943, she founded the Ephraim Art School where summer classes were held until 1949.

Tourtelot spent the 1950s at the Saugatuck Summer School of Painting in Michigan, returning to Door County in 1964 to found the Door Harbor School of Art in Fish Creek. In 1965, Madeline purchased three-and-a-half acres and founded the Peninsula School of Arts, now called the Peninsula Art School.

In 1978, Tourtelot began to work out plans to donate her land to the PAA (Peninsula Arts Association), eventually donating the two barns and half her property while retaining the main building and ceramics studio.

With the return of the these buildings to the Peninsula Art School campus in 2007, “It seemed essential to honor the woman who made Peninsula Art School possible. She had such extraordinary vision and passion for arts education in Door County,” said PAS Executive Director, Cathy Hoke-Gonzales.

Under the leadership of art historian, Virginia Maher, who will serve as the archive’s director, PAS has assembled many of Tourtelot’s original films, as well as some of her paintings, early sketchbooks and photographs. In addition to works by Tourtelot, the archives will seek to preserve the works of early artists-in-residence of the school. The archives will serve as place to study Tourtelot’s works and those of her contemporaries, view her films, and feature rotating exhibitions of works from the permanent collection.

The Peninsula Art School is located at 3900 County Hwy F, in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm. For more information visit