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Letterio Calapai
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Boston, MA
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Glencoe, Illinois
Lettorio Calapai (1902–1993) was a realist painter and printmaker who took part in the Federal Arts Project organized by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Capapai's work can be found in the Fogg Art Museum and in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts[ which is where Calapai's parents took him when he was a boy. Calapai was born in Boston, Massachusetts to poor Sicilian immigrants who brought him up with educational trips to nearby galleries. He attended the Massachusetts Normal Art School and the School of Fine Arts and Crafts in Boston. In 1928, a fire in the school destroyed Calapai's work which he had intended would win him funds to travel abroad. Calaprai moved to New York City where he was influenced by the work of the British artist Stanley Hayter and his Atelier 17 studio. From 1928 to 1935, he worked at a lithographic office and studied at the Art Students League and the Beaux Arts Institute of Design. He created very little work but the quality led the artist and his former instructor, Charles Hopkinson, to finance him to devote his time to painting. In 1934, his work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Montross Gallery. He was working for the Works Progress Administration and he was able to work at the Atelier 17 workshops in the 1940s. From 1949 to 1955, Calapai chaired the Graphic Arts Department of the Albright Art School in Buffalo, New York. He taught at the New School for Social Research from 1955 to 1965 and at the Intaglio Workshop for Advanced Printmaking in New York from 1962 to 1965.[4] Calapai left New York to teach at the University of Illinois. His gallery and studio where he trained other students was in Glencoe, Illinois which is the town where he died. Calapai took an interest in engraving and engravers including William Hogarth. He arranged for reprints of engravings by "The Capture of Major Andre" by Asher B. Durand and others by Thomas Bewick. Legacy Calapai's work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Bibliothèque National de France. His work is also displayed in the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts and in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. This is apt as these are two of the institutions to which Calapai's parents took him when he was a boy.[1][2] [edit]