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Mortellito, Domenico (1906-1994) | Lake Forest College Archives and Special Collections

Name: Mortellito, Domenico (1906-1994)


Historical Note:

The artist Domenico Mortellito was born in 1906 in Newark, New Jersey, and attended Pratt Institute, fort Greene, Brooklyn, in the 1920s as a commuter student, sketching people on the subway during his trips, according to his daughter, Adria Mortellito Peterson, Oakland, CA, in 1994.  He was a graphic artist during World War II and then worked for Dupont and even created art from Teflon. 

Several of his art works are known:

1934, a mural of men and an oil rig for the Soundview high schools, The Bronx, NY; one of only thirty-nine NYC schools' WPA murals surviving in 1994.

Art for the Newark subway system

Post Office in Port Chester, NY

National Zoo, Washington, D.C.

1939, NY World's Fair.

According to "Humbug Point #2" by Mary and Domenico Mortellito, in the loose-leaf Desbarats collection, p. 61B and 61BB, Johnny Baker of Humbug # 1 invited Domenico to Desbarats to visit in 1938. A year of so later the land next to the west was acquired by Mortellito.  Eventually a platform and then a house was built on the irregular surface of the plot.

Sources:

Kugel, Seth.  "A Mural of Strength, But for Its Invisibility," New York Times, September 19, 1994.  ON finding the Soundview, The Bronx, schools mural.

Mortellito, Domenico and Mary.  "Humbug Point #2," Desbarats histories notebook, [ca. 1975], pp. 61B-61BB.

Note Author: Arthur H. Miller, Archivist and Librarian for Special Collections; amiller@lakeforest.edu



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