WILTON, CONN. — The antiques community was saddened by the sudden passing of Peter L. Rosenberg, 80, a noted specialist in Chinese and Asian art and antiques, on April 4. Born in New York City on July 23, 1932, Rosenberg was the owner of Vallin Galleries in Wilton. The gallery was founded by his mother, Josephine Rosenberg, “Josie,” as she was known, in a small gallery in New York City’s Greenwich Village in the 1920s. In 1940, it became what is now Vallin Galleries, moving to its current location in 1950.
Peter and his wife Louise took over Vallin Galleries as full-time owners in 1975, growing their business with passion and a foremost devotion to their clients. Holidays found Peter and Louise working side-by-side making fruitcakes and homemade tomato sauce (using only homegrown tomatoes from their garden) as Christmas gifts to thank their clients for their business, but more importantly, to thank them for their friendship.
There was rarely a Saturday or Sunday when Peter and his wife did not have at least a few friends and colleagues spending the afternoon with them in their Eighteenth Century saltbox, situated quaintly on the Norwalk River on Route 7 in Wilton. Friends and clients, new and old, often stayed for hours sharing stories, discussing politics, as well as the state of the antiques and Chinese art fields.
Peter was a longstanding member of the Arts and Antiques Dealers League of America, and served on the Board of Directors for many years. He offered ongoing and passionate support to the organization he helped to guide, and remained actively involved in the field he loved to the last. He was generous with his knowledge and hospitality, often mentoring new and younger dealers.
Predeceased in 1998 by his late wife and business partner Louise, Peter is survived by his two sons Simon and Nicolas, Simon’s wife Caitlin Durkovich, his four stepchildren Robert, Michael and Thomas McLoughlin and Jeannie Eastright, his grandchildren Jed, Will and Kate Rosenberg, and many, many friends who loved him dearly. His passionate intellect, unwavering friendship, and his abiding joie de vivre will be sorely missed.
A memorial service will be conducted for family and friends on April 26 at 3 pm in Wilton.