Bruno Beghé, professional painter, sculptor, violinist and conductor, was born in Carrara, Italy, in 1892. He was the son of a sculptor and from 1904 to 1911 he studied sculpture at the Academia di Belle Arti in Carrara, a town famous for its beautiful marble. He immigrated to the United States in 1923. In 1939 he was listed as holding memberships in the following artist organizations:
The Palette and Chisel Academy (Chicago)
The All-Illinois Society of Fine Arts
The North Shore Art Guild
The No-Jury Society of Artists
The Austin, Oak Park, and River Forest Art League
Later he served as a director of the Municipal Art League of Chicago.
During a long career, Beghé exhibited in a variety of two-dimensional media, including oils, watercolors, pastels and pencil drawings.
Titles for paintings that he exhibited between 1944 and 1965 at the Palette and Chisel Academy show that he depicted a wide range of subject matter, including:
Illinois farm- and landscapes
Chicago cityscapes, parks and churches
Waterscapes and shore scenes
Ballet dancers, performing musicians, geishas, nudes and other human subjects
Self-, family and other portraits
In addition to his home town of Chicago, places he painted included the art colony of Saugatuck, Michigan, as well as scenes from Italy, and Ibiza (Spain) and the Riviera.
Beghe’s three-dimensional media included bronze and marble. His sculptural subject matter included portraits of artists Othmar Hoffler and Henry Thiede, conductor Arturo Toscanini, and President Abraham Lincoln, as well as bas-relief portraits of General Douglas MacArthur and Jascha Heifetz.
Beghé’s work won a silver medal at the annual Palette and Chisel Academy exhibition in 1957. He subsequently won gold medals there in 1958, 1959, 1961, 1963 and 1965. He also won the Charles M. Nelson Award at Chicago’s Union League Art Competition in 1961.
Beghé’s 1963 marble of South Dakota’s Joseph Ward is owned by the Smithsonian and is displayed in the Hall of Columns at the U.S. Capitol. Beghé’s portrait of oboist Gustavo Gastelli is held by the Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica di Bologna, in Bologna, Italy.
Chicago galleries displaying Bruno Beghe’s work included Mandel Brothers and the Wurlitzer Gallery.
Museums holding Beghé’s work today include:
The Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica di Bologna
Beghé married Emmavve Frymire (1906-1952) in 1932. They had two sons, Renato and Gino. Beghe later married Theo Liddell (1905-1996).
Bruno Beghé died in Wilmette, Illinois in January, 1973.
The above information was assembled by Robert Burns.
Soria, Regina; American Artists of Italian Heritage, 1776-1945. 1994. Page 33.
Sellroe, Edna “Art…”. Artistry: A Magazine Devoted to the Muses (September-October, 1944): 2. (Cited in Soria.).
Chicago Tribune, January 18, 1973. Obituary.
Articles in the Chicago Daily Tribune: Nov 30, 1960, p. B4; September 29, 1954, Part 2, Page 6; and the Chicago Sunday Tribune, November 30, 1953, Part 7.
List of Palette and Chisel Academy exhibitions in which Bruno Beghe,’s work appeared; Compiled by Frank Hensley, Palette and Chisel Academy historian.
Special thanks to Mr. Hensley for providing copies of the above articles and for his excellent research!