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 Peter Edward Paoli  (1880 - )

About: Peter Edward Paoli


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Lived/Active: Illinois      Known for: painting, theatre scenery artist

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Peter Edward Paoli was born on 22 February 1880 in Chicago, IL, a son of John and Mary Agnes Hunter Paoli. John was employed as a "Huckster" in the 1880 Chicago census. John died before 1900 and left a widow, one son and three daughters. Peter was living with his mother and sisters (Rose, Addie and Irene) in Chicago during the 1900 census and his occupation was given as "painter". Still living with this mother and two sisters in Chicago, one sister (Rose) having died before the 1910 census, he was employed as an "artist, scenic".

Paoli traveled to Europe and returned on 21 August 1914 from Havre, France. He was living in Wilmette, IL on 27 January 1917, when he applied for a U. S. patent for a theatrical device. The device was used to quickly change scenery backdrops on theatrical stages, by queuing several suspended backdrops and using a rope and pulley system for displaying the desired scene. The design was complex and included several features, including lighting.

Paul was again living in Chicago when he completed his WWI Draft Registration card in 1918, and it appears he gave his occupation as "artist actor". His mother was listed as someone who would be able to contact him, if needed. Mary Paoli was living in Wilmette, IL with her daughter Irene and son-in-law John Anderson during the 1920 census.

Paul has not been located in the 1920 census. Paoli's mother died in Wilmette, Illinois in 1921. Paoli was living alone at 2003 Sedgwick St., Chicago during the 1930 census, an address he would be associated with for several decades. His occupation was "artist, commercial".

There is a gap in records until Paoli completed his WWII Draft Registration card in 1942. He was still living at 2003 Sedgwick in Chicago and his employer was given as "own business". For a contact he listed E. Wherle of Chicago. Peter was still living at 2003 "Sedwidge" St. in Chicago, when he returned from a trip to Europe on the ship Constitution on 7 November 1951. The ship departed from Gibraltar. This is the last mention of Paoli that I have found in records.

According to a Circular of Instruction for students, 1902-1903, of The Art Institute of Chicago School of Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Designing, and Architecture P. E. Paoli was a student in the Life Class, Evening Life Class and the Antique Class.

That these entries are for Paul Edward Paoli is confirmed by the address for him that is included in this book, 592 27th St., Chicago. This is the same address where he was living with his family during the 1900 census. Included in this book is an image of an oil painting by Paoli, Still Life in Color, Interior, oil. A list of instructors by class is included in the book, but it is not possible to tell who his
instructors were as there was more than one instructor for each of the classes he took.  Some of the instructors are very well known artists.

A request for more information about Paoli's attendance at the School of the Art Institute brought this response: "Our records show that Mr. Paoli attended SAIC from 1894-95 & 1901-04. There is no mention of a degree."

The World, a theatrical magazine, published 9 April 1921, listed P. E. Paoli as the scenic artist for the Pepple Agency, a Chicago theatrical booking agency, which was originally called the Unity Vaudeville Agency. This is the only professional reference located for Paoli, so far.
There is no record of Paoli in the Social Security Death Index.

Researched, written and submitted by Kevin Daniel, University of Illinois graduate student of Library and Information Science with a focus on art Cataloging.

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