The following information was submitted by Deirdre Cogger:
Born December 26, 1894, he died April 22, 1964
Chronological milestones in his life and career:
1894 Born, Pescina, Italy.
First of eight children of Peter and Angelina Simboli. Peter Simboli was also a painter, sculptor and decorator of international repute.
1901 Emigrated to Pittsburgh with parents.
1920 Raymond married Mabel (1894 -1979), and they had four children
Education Raymond Simboli studied painting as a child, and also assisted his artist-father, a muralist in the city of Pittsburgh. They worked on a number of murals in Pittsburgh Theatres and Churches, the Tuscarawas court house in New Philadelphia, and the Nixon Theatre and Restaurant, Pittsburgh.
1912-16 Attended Peabody High, Pittsburgh
1917-19 Attended Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University), studied under Arthur Watson Sparks in the Department of Painting, Design and Sculpture.
1917 Hawthorne Scholarship, Provincetown, MA
1919 Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, Oyster Bay, Long Island
1919-20 Brief period of service, WWI.
1920 Membership of Associated Artists of Pittsburgh.
Served as professor of painting and design in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Institute of Technology for 42 years (1920-1962), teaching architectural drawing. Simboli was appointed upon his return from service, and prior to the completion of his own academic work. Upon retirement in 1962, Simboli had attained the post of Assistant Professor.
Simboli also taught painting and drawing intermittently at Carnegie Institute, the Pittsburgh Art Institute, and the Ad Art School of Technology, the Carnegie Museum (including children's classes), Seton Hill College, and throughout the greater Pittsburgh area (including clubs at Beaver and Greensburg). Simboli was also teaching an adult art class at the Westmoreland Museum of Art in Greensburg at the time of his death. From 1943, he conducted classes at his own school, the Simboli school of Art in East Liberty.
An active member of the Pittsburgh art scene, he won several awards at the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh's annual exhibitions, and served as president of the association in 1951. Simboli was also the initial president of the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society in 1946.
1955 Pittsburgh Arts and Craft Center Artist of the Year. The most distinguished award for art in the Pittsburgh region, recognizing outstanding art achievement over a long period. Exhibited at Carnegie Institute annual exhibitions in 1925, 1926, 1928, and 1934. Exhibited at 41 of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh annual exhibitions: 1916-23, 1926-31, 1933-51, 1956-60 and 1962.
Initially a portraitist and figurative painter, Simboli's repertoire broadened to include Pittsburgh scenes , and urbanscapes. His regional consciousness is evident in scenes like the tired steel worker leaving his job, a scene of the steelworker's riots, a cubist reworking of the same scene, and several others of the hill district.
His summer travels to the Tito farm in Connecticut and New England coastal towns like Provincetown, Rockport, Kennebunkport, Ogunquit are recorded in vibrant watercolors . Also, a trip to Mexico resulted in a large body of landscapes and village scenes. The post WWII period marked a stylistic change in Simboli's oil paintings, revealed in scenes of abstracted machine parts, still lives, and decorative and non-figurative works. Simboli's watercolor works typically catered more to the art market, and retained a greater naturalism throughout his career, reflecting the basic principles of form and color which underlied his art instructing. Subsequent to Simboli's retirement from teaching in 1962 he painted primarily in oils, and without the continued necessity to be selling his works he was permitted greater stylistic freedom. In these final years he produced many of his finest abstract works.