Sante Graziani

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Sante Graziani (1920–2005) was an American artist and art educator. He was known for his murals, which adorned many public buildings.


Graziani was educated at the Cleveland Institute of Art and later at Yale University. He met with success early in his career, winning the Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship in Art at the age of 22.


Soon after military service in World War II, he began a career as an art educator. He taught at Yale University School of Art from 1946 to 1951. His students at that time included Claes Oldenburg. From 1951 to 1981, Graziani was at the School of the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he taught and was also Dean. In 1982, he moved to Paier College of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, where he was Dean until 1995 and Dean Emeritus that same year until his death .[1]

Graziani initially gained recognition for his murals. Among his works were a mural at the Holyoke (Mass.) public library,[2] a mural finished in 1942 at the Columbus Junction, Iowa post office titled Lovers Leap, a post office mural, Joseph Deford and His Friends Build the First Cabin in Bluffton (1941) in Bluffton, Ohio [3][4] and one at the Museum of Fine Arts[5] in Springfield, Massachusetts.

In later works that drew on iconic paintings from art history for inspiration, he produced paintings and murals that reflectied the influence of pop art. He has been described as "a witty, clever painter and draughtsman, [who] likes to paraphrase the old masters, copying some of their most famous works, and incorporating them into vividly colored hard-edge backgrounds."[6]

In the years around the United States bicentennial celebration in 1976, he produced paintings that included references to well known images of George and Martha Washington. He was commissioned to paint a colorful and decorative mural featuring an image of George Washington on the side of a building in Worcester, Massachusetts, in that era.[7] He was also commissioned to design a stamp for the U.S. postal service.


  1. ^ "Sante Graziani, 85; artist made murals across the country." The Boston Globe. March 25, 2005.
  2. ^ "Sante Graziani, 1920 – 2005". Holyoke, Mass. May 5, 2010. 
  3. ^ Park, Marlene and Gerald E. Markowitz, Democratic vistas: Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal, Temple University Press, Philadelphia 1984
  4. ^ American Art Annual, Geographical Dictionary Of Murals and Sculptures commissioned by Section of Fine Arts, Public Buildings Administration, Federal Works Agency. The American Federation of Arts, 1941 pp 623 - 658
  5. ^ Kinnecome, Mary E. "Sante Graziani, born 1920". Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ John Gruen. "A Mixture of Gesture." New York Magazine. March 22, 1971. p. 57
  7. ^ "Wall O' Washingtons". Roadside America. November 26, 2010. 

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