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Carlo Antonia Nisita
Carlo Antonia Nisita (Italian-born American, 1895-1990) Western New York artist, painter, printmaker, designer, muralist and teacher known for his murals, harbor & marine scenes, landscapes and decoration, while in his later career for more modern themes and images in his work. He worked in a variety of mediums; oil, watercolor, intaglio, linocuts and pen & ink. He came to Buffalo at the age of seven and later maintained a studio at 280 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY. He resided in Kenmore, NY, and also in East Aurora, NY at 292 Oakwood Avenue.

Chronology:

1895- Born, October 26, Poggiomarino, Province of Naples, Italy.

1903- Arrived in Buffalo, NY.

1908- Received his American Citizenship.

1917-1919- Served in World War I in the Intelligence Branch of the United States Army and behind the front lines in France for 22 months doing sketches and observations, while earning three battle stars. Later served as Lieutenant in the United States Reserve Corps. Following the War he worked in the Buffalo Express Art Department, Buffalo, NY.

1919-1921- Studied at the Albright Art School on a full scholarship in conjunction with the Buffalo Normal School, forerunner to the SUNY College at Buffalo where he earcned a Teaching Certificate, Buffalo, NY.

Circa 1921-25- Studied at the Buffalo School of Fine Arts, Buffalo, NY.

Circa 1923-25- Studied at the Art Students’ League, and Cooper Union, NYC.

1925- Went on to Study at Yale School of Fine Arts, New Haven, CT, and awarded a B.F.A. for advanced work of distinction in decoration. Studied under Sargent Kendall, Ezra Winter, Edward C. Taylor, George B. Bridgman, Florence Julia Bach & Urquhart Wilcox. Under Ezra Winter’s direction Nisita worked on designs for a stained glass window for Straus & Co., Chicago, IL, and other projects in NYC and Washington, DC.

1926- June 1st, Married Margaret (née Blakeslee) of Buffalo, NY.

1926-30- Furthered studies at the Beaux Art Institute of Design, NY.

1927- Bronze Medal for Composition, Beaux Arts Institute of Design, NY.

1934-46- Exhibited at the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1933-64- Art Instructor at the East Aurora schools, East Aurora, NY.

Circa 1934-58- Art Instructor at the Gow School, South Wales, NY.

1944- Exhibited at the Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO.

1945- Exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

1950- Was President of the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

1951- Designed a color pictographic Romance Map of the Northern Gateway: New York, Vermont & Canada, 22.75" x 18", sheet size 24.5" x 18.5", which showed the area around Lake Champlain including parts of New York, Vermont, and Quebec (Lake Champlain at top, Albany at lower edge of map), and lower left in image: "Compiled and Copyrighted 1934 by C. Eleanor Hall, Port Henry, N.Y. Josephine Wilhelm Wickser, Consultant"; lower right in image: "Revised Edition, Copyright 1951. Designed by Carlo Nisita."; center below image: "Printed in U. S. A. by The Holling Press, Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.".

1953- Carlo wanted to reactivate the old East Aurora Paint and Varnish Club (c.1904-c.1935), and he invited local artists together to meet at the school to discuss the idea of starting a new art club. Nisita presented his idea for the new venture to not only include painters, but craftsman, musicians and creative artists in all fields. For this reason, Nisita changed the name of the club to the Aurora Arts Club, and acted as its first president. The Club originally had thirteen members, some of whom were original members of the former Paint and Varnish Club. That same year, they had their first ‘Outdoor Art Show’ on the grounds of the East Aurora High School campus (now the East Aurora Middle School) which was held in conjunction with Nisita’s adult art class. The show was open to all artists at that time but was later limited to artists within an eleven mile radius of the town. The mission of the Aurora Arts Club, however, never fully materialized so their name was changed to its present title of the East Aurora Art Society in 1959, and they have been going strong ever since.

1960- Again was President, Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

1964- Retired from teaching for over 31 years at the East Aurora High School, and as a farewell the Board of Education and East Aurora Mayor J. Forrest Cain honored the occasion with a weekend exhibit of Nisita's work at the high school, East Aurora, NY.

Circa 1964-65- After retiring, Carlo and his wife Margaret briefly moved to California, but quickly realized they wanted to return to Western New York and as a result settled in Kenmore, NY.

1965- Exhibited, group show (1st Prize for painting "Nocturnal"), "52nd Annual Exhibition of the Guild of Allied Arts", Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY.

1965-75- Founder, Chairman and Professor Emeritus of the Fine Arts Department, Villa Maria College, Buffalo, NY.

1967- Co-founded the Associated Artists Organizations of Western New York (A.A.O).

1970- President, Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

Circa 1982- Carlo suffered an extremely disabling stroke with subsequent hospitalizations. The stroke left him with severely crippled limbs and through extensive and determined physical therapy, Carlo kept his mobility and regained his ability to paint and maintained his strong will to be productive.

1986- October 7-31, Exhibited, solo show, East Aurora Public Library, East Aurora, NY.

1990- November 16, died at the age of 95, East Aurora, NY.

Memberships: The Buffalo Society of Artists (Twice President 1950 & 1960), Buffalo, NY; The Buffalo Print Club (Exhibited many times locally & nationally), Buffalo, NY; Aurora Arts Club (First President, 1953, now the East Aurora Art Society), East Aurora, NY; Kenmore Art Society, Kenmore, NY; The Patteran Society, Buffalo, NY; The Associated Arts Organization of Western New York (Was President Emeritus), and their gallery was located on Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY; Buffalo Schola Cantorum, Buffalo, NY; Battell Chapel Choir and the Horatio Parker Choir, with ten years experience as a tenor soloist in sacred and secular work in and around Buffalo, NY; and the Glee Club of Yale University.

Works: Two murals, Grosvenor Library with assistant James Doherty (sadly not preserved), Buffalo, NY; Buffalo Savings Bank, Buffalo, NY; St. Ann’s Church, Buffalo, NY; St. Francis Hospital, Buffalo, NY, and Gardenville, NY; First Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, NY; Frohe’s Art Studio, Buffalo, NY; Church paintings for St. Mary’s, Buffalo, NY, and Our Lady of Lourdes Churches, Buffalo, NY.

For additional information on this artist or for other examples of his works, please visit the AskArt link

(Chronologically Rewritten by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., meibohmfinearts.com, 06/2007, Sources: Who was Who in American Art 1999; The Wayward Muse: A Historical Survey of Painting in Buffalo, organized at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery-Susan Krane, Curator 1987; Kevin O’Callahan and The Buffalo Print Club Burchfield Art Center, 1988 from bio by Jean Reeves, Buffalo Evening News, 05/20/70; The Buffalo Artist Register Vol. I, 1926; eBay.com; http://sortedbyname.com, Social Security birth & death information; fultonhistory.com, online digitized newspaper article, Tonawanda News, "Art Exhibition Prize Announced", Pg. 8, Thursday, May 20, 1965, North Tonawanda NY Evening News 1965 Grayscale - 5717.pdf; bibliophile.net, Bookbase, (NEW YORK / VERMONT / CANADA) Nisita, Carlo (designed by) : A Romance Map of the Northern Gateway, C. Eleanor Hall., Port Henry, NY., Copyright1951. Revised Edition, Oldimprints.com; http://bechsed.nylearns.org, brief biographical information, http://bechsed.nylearns.org/pdf/The_Art_and_Artist_of_Buffalo.pdf; fultonhistory.com, online digitized newspaper article, Tonawanda News, "Nisita still going strong at 86", By Susan Eck, Pg. 10, Thursday, October 29, 1981, North Tonawanda NY Evening News 1981 Grayscale - 6297.pdf; East Aurora Advertiser, "Carlo Nisita's Exhibition Opens", by Warren C. Moffett, Oct. 9, 1986; Newspaper article, Buffalo News Gusto, “New Deal Art: Out of the gloom of the Depression came remarkable strides in the arts.”, by Anthony Bannon, Pgs. 3 & 16, Friday, Nov. 4, 1983.)

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