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 Athos Menaboni  (1895 - 1990)

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Lived/Active: Georgia / Italy      Known for: birds, landscape, mural, decorator

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Athos Menaboni
from Auction House Records.
Eastern Belted Kingfisher
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Anne Pullin, a close friend of the artist:

Athos Menaboni was primarily a bird painter who did other subjects just for his own pleasure. He was also a decorator and illustrator and did numerous murals for Atlanta, Georgia homes and a mural for Rich's department store tea room, The Magnolia Room.

Menaboni was born in Livorno, Italy, and lived most of his professional life in Atlanta where he arrived during the Depression and worked as a house painter to survive financially.

His wife, Sara, wrote a bird book that he illustrated to promote his work.


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information was submitted by Russ Clayton.

Athos Menaboni is known for his paintings of birds.  However, he also painted flowers, landscapes, and seascapes.  During his career of 70 plus years (he died in 1990 at the age of 94), his paintings appeared on the covers of the following magazines: Progressive Farmer, Southern Living, Sports Illustrated, and Sports Afield.  He also illustrated several areas of the bird section of World Book as well as a poetry book.

Biography from Knoke Fine Arts:
Athos Menaboni is an American artist who was born in Livorno, Italy and was influenced by his father, an avid hunter and naturalist, and the menagerie of exotic animals and birds which were included in the family of his youth.

Athos studied under Italian marine painter, Ugo Manaresi.  Later, he served a three year apprenticeship to the famous Belgian muralist Charles Doudelet, and he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Florence.  Menaboni arrived in New York City in 1920 and worked as a candle painter, eventually becoming teacher and director of Davis Island in Tampa Bay.

Upon moving to Atlanta, Georgia, he worked as a muralist.  Many of his works are in various southern mansions (as well as Robert Woodruff’s Ichuway Plantation in South Georgia) and public buildings such as Citizens and Southern Bank branches and the Capital City Club.  He also painted murals for Atlanta’s leading architect Philip Shutze of Swan House owned by Edward Inman.

Inspired by the work of John James Audubon, in the 1930’s, Menaboni casually experimented with painting birds, between commissions.  Unlike Audubon, he worked primarily from live birds. Throughout his prolific career, Menaboni painted more than 150 species of American birds and landscapes.  He worked in a variety of media, including oils, watercolor, pencil, and eggshells on canvas, Nakora board, silk, glass, and gesso covered board.

His paintings are found in notable collections such as those of the Callaways, Du Ponts, Marshall Fields, Ben Fairlesses, and Robert Woodruff of Coca Cola (including paintings for Woodruff’s Christmas cards for 44 years, between 1941 and 1984), the Seattle Art Museum, the Emory University Woodruff Library, the Atlanta Historical Society the High Museum of Atlanta and have been exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History and the National Audubon Society in New York.

Amongst the honors awarded Menaboni’s art are: the Georgia 1983 Governor’s Award in the Visual Arts, American Institute of Architects, American Graphic Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, Atlanta Beautiful Commission, the New York Art Directors Club, the Italian Cultural Society, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

Biography from Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art:
The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art hosted the largest retrospective exhibition of Athos Menaboni in June 27, 1999.  Athos Menaboni (1895 - 1990), who has been hailed as a twentieth-century Audubon, began his career by painting murals; he later combined his painting skills with his hobby, the study of birds, thus becoming a bird illustrator.

His oil paintings captured the beauty of nature.  During his career which spanned over sixty years, he painted over one hundred and fifty species of American birds in their native surroundings.

Although born in Italy, Menaboni lived in Atlanta most of his life with his wife, Sara, on a five-acre woodland sanctuary complete with extensive aviaries. His work brought him international fame and numerous awards.  His paintings appeal to wildlife lovers, naturalists, art collectors and ornithologists alike.

Although Menaboni is best known for his bird paintings, equally impressive are his botanicals, seascapes, landscapes, fantasies, murals and mosaics.  Over one hundred of his finest paintings were featured in the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art' s exhibition.

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