Henry DiSpirito (American, born Italy, 1898-1995)
Trees, c. 1933
oil on board, 5 7/8 x 7 3/4 in.
Gift of the Daughters of Henry DiSpirito, 2017.6.2
Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art is primarily a collection of art of the United States. With the exception of people indigenous to this continent, we are a nation of immigrants.
Many “American” artists, such as Thomas Cole, were actually born in other countries. In the arts, as in other areas of life, persons who have come to the United States have been inspired by their new home. This gallery is dedicated to showcasing aspects of the collection that reflect the rich tradition of artists who traveled to the United States as children or adults, developed their talent, and shared it for the appreciation of all.
This winter, Your Land, My Land features works of art by Henry DiSpirito (1898, Castleforte, Italy-1995, Utica, N.Y.). DiSpirito immigrated to the United States at age 21 and worked as a stone mason until he retired in 1964. In 1940 he enrolled in an MWPAI sculpture class taught by Richard Davis; DiSpirito carved stone, and later wood, into sensitive forms of fauna and allegorical figures for the rest of his life. DiSpirito was also a painter, especially in his younger years, and the Museum is proud to exhibit for the first time two of the artist’s oils, recent acquisitions generously donated by DiSpirito’s three daughters.