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 Armand Seguso  (1897 - 1984)

About: Armand Seguso
 

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Lived/Active: New York / Italy      Known for: poster art, female figure, illustration

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Armand Seguso
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Biography from Richard Beau Lieu & Associates Fine Art Appraisers:
Armando Seguso (Benevento, Italy, 1897- Bronxville, New York, 1984) Painter, Illustrator, Musician.

He immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of four and received his early education in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  A talent for the violin launched him into a career as a musician and after earning fame at the age seventeen for a waltz composition Dream of Mother, Seguso came to New York four years later to study painting at the National Academy of Design, which he financed by playing violin in a cabaret - a job which ended when he barely escaped a bullet in a fracas.  He switched to less lucrative, somewhat safer jobs, playing in vaudeville and movie pit orchestras.

Seguso joined a commercial art studio, where his elegant oil and brushwork technique, influenced by Gainsborough and Titian, attracted such art directors as MGM’s Hal Burrows. Before embarking on MGM work, however, one of Seguso’s earliest commissions was for United Artists in 1928 when he created advertisements for Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr. His canvas work, along with crayon, pastel and watercolor illustration, graced many of MGM’s plum assignments, including Gone with the Wind (1939), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Random Harvest (1942), The Human Comedy (1943), Kismet (1944) Mrs. Parkington (1944), Thirty Seconds over Tokyo (1944). For Paramount, Seguso did The Cat and the Canary (1939) and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943).  His Brilliant color and broad, vigorous technique also enlivened covers for Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Home Companion, Pictorial Review and McCall’s.

An unusual article in Lion’s Roar, MGM’s lavish monthly for theater exhibitors during the 1940’s said about Seguso: “His work … Has been a factor in raising such commercial art to a level of distinction and has brought MGM posters wide acclaim for their incisive displays and selling values."  Seguso enjoyed exhibitions at the New York Watercolor Society, Pratt Institute and his portraits hang in several Museums.   

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