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 Albert Jaspar Ludwig Roccabiglera Operti  (1852 - 1927)

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Lived/Active: New York / Italy      Known for: historical Arctic scene painting, set design

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BIOGRAPHY for Albert Jaspar Operti
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Birth
1852 (Turin, Italy)
 
Death
1927 (New York, New York)

Lived/Active
New York / Italy

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historical Arctic scene painting, set design

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Italian born, Albert Operti established himself as an historical painter and is most associated with his Arctic scenes and backdrop paintings for operatic performances. Alberti moved to England with his family as an infant and studied at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Art in Scotland. In 1875, he arrived in the United States and took classes at the Art Students League in New York City. He did newspaper cartoons, and by the 1880s was employed by the Metropolitan Opera, where he earned a distinguished reputation as a set designer and painter.

In 1896 to 1897, he accompanied the explorer Admiral Peary to Cape York Greenland and other Arctic locations on the vessel "SS Roosevelt". From this extensive trip as well as a second trip with Peary, Operti did numerous sketches, many resulting in paintings including "Rescue at Camp", once hung in the United States Capitol Building. This work depicts an 1884 rescue at Cape Sabine, Ellesmere Island, Canada of the rescue of a scientific expedition. In the collection of the New York City Explorers Club, a long-established club focused on historical data of geographical exploration, the painting has been described as "one of the most powerful and compelling paintings in the club"...(Peck 98) Also in the Explorers Club collection is Operti's portrait of Admiral Peary and a series of scrapbooks kept by the artist as well as dozens of his painting of Arctic explorations.

Operti also illustrated books on the Arctic including "Through the First Antarctic Night" and "Nearest the Pole", and on site, he made the first casts of Greenland Eskimos. In addition, he helped design exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History.


Sources include:
Robert McCracken Peck, 'The Explorers Club', "Magazine Antiques", December 2004.
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.

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