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Lectures from the Allen Room and the Wertheim Study: Immigrant Artists and Their Studios in New York City, 1930s-1940s


July 17, 2012

Program Locations:

Francesca Canadé Sautman is a Professor in the Department of Romance Languages at Hunter College of the City University of New York.  She has published books and articles mostly in medieval and early modern studies, and has also written on Italian American culture. She will speak about the cultural life of immigrant artists’ studios in New York City in the 1930s and 1940s.

This talk evokes the vibrant world of immigrant and first-generation American artists from the 1920s to the 1930s and 1940s whose art school and studio spaces dotted the streets from East 34th Street to the two Villages. Focusing on thriving networks such as the Leonardo da Vinci Art School (founded in 1923 and directed by sculptor Onorio Ruotolo, 1888-1966) and artists mentored by already renowned artist Joseph Stella (1877-1946), the talk considers the studio as both a creative space and a cultural fulcrum in New York City in the decades preceding the Second World War.

Immigrant Artists’ Studios in New York City is part of Francesca Canadé Sautman’s book project, Dark Passages, originally funded by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, and inspired by the work of her grandfather, Vincent Canadé (1879-1961). The book, documenting immigrant artist communities primarily of Italian descent and their cultural and social networks in New York City from the 1920s to 1940s, is currently being written in the Wertheim Study Room at The New York Public Library.

For more lectures from the Wertheim Study, click here.