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A Finding Aid to the Letterio Calapai papers, 1858-1993, (bulk 1920s-1993)

Letterio Calapai papers, 1858-1993, (bulk 1920s-1993)

Calapai, Letterio, 1902-1993

Art teacher, Printmaker

Collection Information

Size: 3.4 linear ft.

Summary: Correspondence, teaching and project files, writings and notes, printed materials, photographs, and sketchbooks, including one with scenes of Rockwell Kent's dairy farm in upstate New York. Calapai's teaching career is documented through correspondence, writings and notes, as well as files concerning his position at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine. Project files are found for Calapai's reprint of an 1845 engraving of "The Capture of Major Andre" by Asher B. Durand for the Historical Society of the Tarrytowns, N.Y., repints of print originals by Thomas Bewick, the "Look Homeward Angel" engravings, and a possible exhibition and book about British engraver William Hogarth.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, engraver, printmaker, and educator; Buffalo and New York, N.Y. and Chicago, Ill. b. 1903, Boston, Mass.; d. 1993, Glencoe, Ill.; Studied at the Massachusetts School of Art, the Beaux Arts Institute of Design, under artist Robert Laurent at the Art Students League, and at the American Artists School under Ben Shahn. He had the first exhibition of his oil paintings at the Art Center in New York City, 1933. In the 1940s, Calapai worked in the Atelier 17 printmaking workshop. He created a hugely successful portfolio of wood engravings inspired by the Thomas Wolfe play "Look Homeward Angel". Calapai also founded and chaired the Graphic Arts Department of the Albright Art School in Buffalo from 1949-1955 and taught at various universities and colleges, including the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, the New School for Social Research, and New York University. He also established the Intaglio Workshop for Advanced Printmaking in Greenwich Village. He later left New York to teach at the University of Illinois, where he established a training studio and gallery.


Donated by Letterio Calapai, 1992.

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