Miriam Smith Peck was born in 1910 in Cleveland, Ohio. After studying for two years at Oberlin College, she transferred to the Cleveland Institute of Art where she was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in 1933. She also received her M.A. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and taught for many years in the public school system in Bedford, Ohio and Akron.
Trained as a painter as well as an enamelist, she explored a broad range of media throughout her career from jewelry and metalwork, to embroidery, watercolor, pastel, and collage. However, Peck is best known for her enamel jewelry. She was regularly included in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s annual May Shows between 1937 and 1952 where she received 15 awards in watercolor, enamels, and jewelry. Her work was also featured in the prestigious Decorative Arts and Ceramics Exhibition at the Wichita Art Association in 1951 and in annual exhibitions at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. Peck’s work in now in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Butler Institute of American Art.
Through her marriage to Robert T. Peck, Miriam joined one of Cleveland’s most prominent artistic families, the so-called “painting Pecks.” Both her mother-in-law, Edith Hogan Peck, and her brother-in-law, James Edward “Jimmy” Peck, were distinguished artists. James had also studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art, graduating in her same year, and all three were frequently awarded prizes at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s annual May Show. The three Pecks exhibited together at Cleveland’s Ten-Thirty Gallery in 1946.
Miriam Peck’s paintings and watercolors frequently depict landscapes and interior scenes while her enamels are highly abstract.