Printmaker and teacher Peter Baer was born into a Jewish family in Berlin, Germany on 23 March 1924 and aged twelve followed his family to London, where his father Hermann established an antiques shop in Mayfair. In 1939 the family was interned as 'enemy aliens' for six months at Huyton Camp, Liverpool and where Peter was employed as a draughtsman in an aircraft factory. In 1948, Baer was naturalised and enrolled at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, supporting himself with a variety of jobs including as a gas lamp-lighter in Lisson Grove.

In the 1950s he was associated with the 'Kitchen Sink' painters and exhibited at the Beaux-Arts Gallery, Mayfair, later making etchings at Birgit Skiölds's Print Workshop in Charlotte Street. Skiöld introduced him in 1959 to Stanley Jones and Timothy Simon, founders of the Curwen Studio at the Curwen Press in Plaistow, east London and Baer assisted with the day-to-day running of the studio, also working directly with a variety of artists including Henry Moore, John Piper and Barbara Hepworth to proof images which were initially hand-printed from stone and zinc plate. A talented and inventive printmaker himself from 1968 onwards, from 1970 until his retirement in 1989, he also taught printmaking at Hammersmith School of Art (later absorbed into Chelsea College of Art and Design). Peter Baer died on 22 March 1996 in his north London home and is buried in Highgate East Cemetery. His works are held in several UK collections including the British Museum and the Ben Uri Gallery, where his memorial exhibition was held in 1997.