Statuette and Walnuts
oil on canvas
20'' x 24''
Salemme, Antonio
1892-1995

Born in 1892, in Gaeta, Italy, Salemme moved with his family to Newton, Massachusetts in 1904.  At the age of thirteen, he began his studies at the Eric Pape Art School and later at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School, studying with George L. Noyes.  While in Boston, he began to study sculpture, and in 1910, continued his study in Spain and France.  He then studied in Rome in 1912 as a protégé of Angelo Zanelli.

From 1915 to 1919, Salemme served in the Italian Army and returned to the United States at the end of the war.

He worked exclusively as a sculptor until the 1930's, at which time he again took up painting in addition to sculpting.  He received the Guggenheim Fellowship for sculpture in 1932 and 1936.  During his first fellowship, Salemme studied for two years in Paris.  After creating his "Negro Spiritual", for which the renowned actor Paul Robeson posed, Salemme exhibited it at the Salon des Tuilleries. French sculptor, Despeau deemed the work a "superior work of art."  During the 1920's and 1930's, Salemme taught painting and sculpting.  In 1935,he took on the directorship of the WPA Mural Project. 

Over the last seventy years, galleries located mainly in New York and Paris have exhibited Salemme's works. The majority of his exhibits took place during the 1920's and 1930's. A resurgence of his gallery exhibits occurred in the 1960's. 

His bronze portraits of famous Americans are permanent collection pieces in major museums and universities along the east coast. His busts of John F. Kennedy are exhibited at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

In 1962, Salemme, with his wife Martha, moved to the countryside of Easton, PA, where he continued to paint and sculpt until the age of 101.

Antonio Salemme died in 1995.