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 Cosmo deSalvo  (1893 - 1991)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: mural, landscape and still-life painting, illustration

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An example of work by Cosmo deSalvo
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Cosmo deSalvo

Born August, 11 1893
Brooklyn, NY
Died October 26, 1991
Bronx, NY

Lived and worked in NY all his life.

Known for murals, "old master" restorations, oil paintings and Chinese lacquer design on furniture.

Style of work variedrealist mostly.

Methods of work mostly oil. (the old egg tempura style)

Collections are private, and kept in private residences in Florida and Arkansas.

Books where referenced:
National Foundation on the Arts. Library of Congress
Who's Who in Art
NY Graphic
Oestreichers catalogue

Periodicals where referenced:
Newsday 1/1924, 1/1974 (and others, dates unknown)
NY Herald Tribune 6/15/1941
Nassau Daily Review Star, "Muralist Turns to New Field" 6/7/1941
NY Times, "Beauty Salon to Open" 10/14/1934 (and others, dates unknown)
LI Press, by Jeanne Paris 12/20/1973
NY Sunday Times, by Malcolm Preston "ART; Elegant Symbolism" 12/23/1973

American Business Magazine "Work of the Artist Highly Significant" date unknown
NY Mirror 4/17/1960
Interior Design "Lunt Fontanne Theatre" 7/1958
Daily News "Lucky Strike Ad" 6/1/1977 (the original run of his Lucky Strike ads were in the 40's during war time, and ran in many publications)
Magazines continued:
Colliers "Oranges and Pineapples" 5/1/1943 picture done for Shell Oil ran in many publications.
Saturday Evening Post "Oranges and Pineapples" 4/17/1943
Life "Oranges and Pineapples" 4/24/1943

Special Awards:
1st Place for the NY School of Art, mural at the San Francisco Fair early 1900's
Best in Advertising, for Shell Oil Research Corp. 1943 for "Oranges and Pineapples" Print used in many ads.
Senior Artists Special Award, by the National Art League 1973 & 1974
Award of Excellence, by Independent Artist's Society for painting "200 Years Under Old Glory" 1976

Douthitt Galleries, East 57th St., NY
French & Company, Inc., East 57th St., NY
Incurable Collector, East 57th St., NY
Garden City Galleries, Stewart Ave, Garden City, NY (several times)
County Art Gallery, Locust Valley, NY
Greenwich Savings Bank, Garden City, NY
Norton Galleries, 131 East 57th St., NY
East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY One man show
Mallette gallery, Garden City, NY solo-"meet the artist" (at age 80)

National Art League
Art Students League
Art in Trades Club (1931)
Melverne Artists League

Cosmo deSalvo showed interest in art, at a very young age. An old photo shows him at an easel, drawing about age 9. By the time he was 16, he was working as an "errand boy' and apprentice for a local artist.

He attended school at the NY Evening High School for Men in New York City in 1913 and the NY Evening School of Industrial Art 1915-1918, also in New York City. He studied architectural drawing, cast drawing, life, composition and painting. He attended the Atelier Corbert Gugler in NY, and went on to apprentice with James Wall Finn, muralist for Stanford White, for 5 years.

He opened a studio on East 57th Street in NY in 1922, and worked with many well know artists over the years including Ezra Winter, Bill Arbieter, John Veggezzi, Ed LaCosta, Alexander Bonano, Alden Twachman, Joseph Rossi, J. Serra and Paul Chafin.

During the Depression he was known as "The Artist of 57th Street". He did commissions for French and Company, from 1922 until his "retirement" in 1967.
Beginning his career as a muralist, he decorated many well know buildings, both public and private. Some of the most recognized works are the ceiling in the Basildon room at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NY, the Balloon room at the Hotel Carlyle in NY, murals for the Chrysler Corp. Engineering Building in Detroit. He assisted Ezra Winter, working with a staff of European artists, on the Cunard Building main floor ceiling, and also murals at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, 3 murals at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in NY, and the Rockefeller Music Hall in NY.

He decorated the private residences of prominent persons including Walter P. Chrysler, John Jacob Astor, Gladys Swarthout, Byron Foy, Merriweather Post, Mrs. Annenburg, Grace Moore, and Ambassador Bliss.

Restorarations of "old masters" paintings was also a big part of his career. He restored the carton for Raphael's "Transfiguration". He did many restorations through Bobby and Cathy Gregory's "Old Master Painting Preservers", such as paintings of El Greco, Raphael Sanzio, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Memling, Da Vinci, etc. Paintings restored by Mr. deSalvo, now hang in the Metropolitan Museum, National Gallery, and in many other leading museums and private collections.

Mr. deSalvo spent his life in New York City and Long Island. He married Claire Muhlinghaus, and had two children. He enjoyed surf fishing, and gardening, and never really retired until he was in his 80's. He enjoyed life and the beauty in it!

Written and submitted January, 2004, by Lori Menichetti, granddaughter of the late Mr. deSalvo.

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