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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Luigi Lucioni

Luigi Lucioni was born in Malnate, Italy in 1900, a small town north of Milan in the foothills of the Alps. His father left the family in 1906 and immigrated to the United States; in 1911 the artist along with his mother and sisters joined him. They settled in North Bergan (now Union City), New Jersey.

At the age of 15 Lucioni entered a competition for admission to Cooper Union, which he was awarded. He studied there for four years under the direction of Impressionist painter William Starkweather. He then went on the study at the National Academy of Art were we was introduced to the medium of etching by William Auerbach Levy. He was awarded the Tiffany Foundation scholarship at the age of 23, and for the following tens years spent part of each year at the Foundation's Oyster Bay retreat. He received little formal instruction, but valued his time there as it allowed his to meet and discuss various aspects of art and life with other students and artists. He has stated, "I owe my career to the Tiffany Foundation because it allowed me to paint all day long, especially out of doors."

While working in New York he began to gain acclaim for his work. In 1927, the Ferargil Gallery had a one man show of his work, and in 1932 the Metropolitan Museum bought one of his paintings making him the first and youngest contemporary artist to have a painting purchased by the museum.

In the 1930s he began to travel and paint in Vermont, which reminded him of his hometown of Malnate. In 1939, he bought a house in Manchester where he would spend his summers. He enjoyed painting and etching the barns, silos and birches around the area.

He completed his first etching in 1922, and for several years produced them in small editions for his own enjoyment, until he was encouraged by friends and family to expand his work. Towards the end of the depression he became involved with the Associated American Artists of New York, who over a span of fifty years printed more than seventy-five of his etchings.

He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Institute and Venice Biennale, among others. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Carnegie Institute, and Victoria & Albert Musuem, London, among others.


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