Peter Nelson Thrasher, Artist


Peter Nelson Thrasher painted by his student, Joseph John Dudding

by Chere Thrasher Athey

Please  allow me to  introduce  you to my first cousin,  Peter.  He  is an well-known  artist  and lives in Virginia near Washington, D.C.   Peter Nelson Thrasher’s mother was Alma Lee Briner (1931-1993), and he has one brother, Corey Lee Thrasher (1968- ).

Peter Thrasher was born in Washington in 1959.  “His work is reminiscent of an earlier classical age, especially his still lifes, which call to mind the work of 16th and 17th century European masters” (THE WASHINGTON POST).

He is a contemporary realist in his painting style. Mr. Thrasher began his first apprenticeship at age 17 when he studied with Washington, D.C. area artist Danni Dawson. He then worked with Nelson Shanks, a well-known portrait and figure painter, in a three-year apprenticeship in Pennsylvania. He returned to Washington and opened a studio in 1985 and painted the portraits of Judge Gerhard Gesell and Teamster’s Union President William J. McCarthy, among others. He has had portrait commissions from other notable officials within the United States and abroad.

Mr. Thrasher began teaching in Nelson Shanks’ studio and continued at the Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia. In the 1990s.  He exhibited with the Art League, Gallery K, and the Jane Haslem Galleries in Washington. His work has also been exhibited in many Italian cities, in New York, and elsewhere, and they also appear in many private collections.

Picture1One of Peter’s most important portraits is the official Judicial Portrait of Gerhard Alden Gesell as reproduced on the left. Judge Gerhard A. Resell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia presided over momentous cases in the Watergate scandals, the release of the secret Pentagon Papers, the Iran-contra affair and the  legalization of abortion.

Peter continues to work out of his Virginia studio on portrait commissions, figures, floral and still life paintings.

See below for more of his amazing art:



Self portrait                                             Peter Nelson Thrasher