Peter Fingesten, a Surrealist artist who founded the art department at Pace University in New York City, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 71. He was born in Berlin, and presented the first exhibition of his sculpture in Europe when he was 16. He held 23 shows there by the time he emigrated to the United States from Italy in 1939. His first show in the United States was held at the Warwick Gallery in Philadelphia. Most recently, his work was exhibited at the Belanthi Gallery in Brooklyn; a show including his work is to be held in November at the Marie Pellicone Gallery in Manhattan.
In 1950, Mr. Fingesten persuaded administrators at Pace, then a business-oriented college, to broaden its curriculum to include art and music. He created an art gallery on the New York City campus in 1956, and later one in Westchester. He served as chairman of the Pace art department until 1986.
From the New York Times