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Ezio Martinelli Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: ASE
Date: Aug 1993

Biographical History

Ezio Martinelli (1913-1980) was an Italian-American sculptor and painter. He was a WPA artist and part of the Abstract Expressionist movement, along with others such as Willem de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, and Jackson Pollock. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and the National Academy of Design in New York, and later taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the American Academy in Rome, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Spanning 1927 to 1968, the Ezio Martinelli Papers comprises family and general correspondence, artwork, writings, and memorabilia of the New Jersey-born artist. Illuminating Martinelli's artistic style as well as his Italian heritage, the collection documents both the career and personal life of the painter, sculptor, printmaker, etcher, engraver, and educator.

Arranged chronologically, the Family correspondence (Box 1) consists primarily of incoming letters from 1954 to 1963 from Martinelli's parents. The general Correspondence (Boxes 1-3), also in chronological sequence, spans the years 1927 to 1967 and is composed of both incoming and outgoing letters. In the interest of preservation, photocopies were made of the deteriorating outgoing carbons and are interfiled in the Correspondence. Correspondents include artists (Aldo John Casanova, Edward I. Colker, Martin Craig, Dorothy Dehner, Giannetto Fieschi, Peter Grippe, Stanley William and Helen Phillips Hayter, Leon Kelly, Leon Kroll, Norman Lewis, Richard Lippold, Samuel Maitin, Frank R. Metz, Barbara Brooks Morgan, Oke Gustaf Nordgren, Melville Price, Walter Reinsel, Kurt Roesch, Theodore J. Roszak, Charles Seide, Charles Seliger, Helena Simkhovitch, David Smith, Helmut Von Erffa, Carl Zigrosser); and art-related institutions (American Federation of Arts, Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, Carnegie Institute, Cleveland Institute of Art, Elgin Academy, Ford Foundation, Gotham Gallery, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, International Graphic Arts Society, Inc., Morris Gallery, National Association of Women Artists, Inc., National Institute of Arts and Letters, Newark Museum, Philadelphia Museum College of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Print Club of Philadelphia, Print Council of America, Ringling Museum of Art, United States. Information Agency, United States. Public Buildings Administration, Whitney Museum of American Art, Willard Gallery). Among additional correspondents are literary figures (Giovanni Carandente, Paul Cummings, Horace Gregory, Marnie Pomeroy); museum curators (Richard Eugene Fuller, Lloyd Goodrich, Una E. Johnson, Katharine Kuh, Carl O. Schniewind, James Johnson Sweeney, Mahonri Sharp Young); musician Edmund Haines; patrons and clients (Anne Jefferson, Joint Industry Board of the Electrical Industry, Barbara M. Kaerwer, Charles Kligerman, Albert R. Lee Co., New Directions, Samuel A. Seaver, Elaine and Herb Stanton, S. Sterling Co., Steuben Glass, David P. Wollowick); and university administrators (Pierre Bedard, Emanuel M. Benson, Andrew C. Ritchie, Harold Taylor). A selected index to the Correspondence follows the box list.

Artwork (Boxes 3-4) encompasses catalog design and layout for Sarah Lawrence College, photographs, three printing blocks, and reproductions. Photographs document techniques used to construct the sculpture mounted on the outer wall of the United Nations General Assembly building, and also represent miscellaneous mural designs and sculpture. Reproductions depict the United Nations sculpture in addition to miscellaneous images arranged chronologically (1930-1967). Several statements on art constitute Writings (Box 4).

Memorabilia (Boxes 4-11) includes awards, identification and membership cards, and invitations, financial/legal material, juvenilia, printed material, and typescript reviews by others, as well as information about art associations, fellowships, teaching, and travel. Fellowship material (1956-1966) relative to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation consists of applications, correspondence, and published reports. Financial/Legal material (1939-1964) includes contracts, receipts, and sales records pertaining to Martinelli's artwork. Printed material contains newspaper clippings (1928-1968), exhibition material (1934-1968), and published reviews and articles about Martinelli (1936-1967). Catalogs and invitations for Martinelli's group and one-man shows, several posters, and catalogs and information regarding miscellaneous art juries are among the exhibition material. Teaching-related material is arranged by organization title and comprises alumnae magazines, announcements, brochures, catalogs, and newsletters. Travel-related material is specific to Martinelli's month as artist-in-residence at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida during the spring of 1964.

Arrangement of the Collection

Corrsepondence is arranged chronologically (see index at the end of this finding aid for notable correspondents). Other series are arranged alphabetically by type or topic.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Casanova, Aldo John, 1929-
Colker, Ed, 1927-
Craig, Martin.
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994.
Erffa, Helmut von, 1900-1979.
Fieschi, Giannetto, 1921-
Gregory, Horace, 1898-1982.
Grippe, Peter.
Haines, Edmund.
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988.
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974.
Kelly, Leon, 1901-1982.
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974.
Lewis, Norman.
Maitin, Sam.
Martinelli, Ezio, 1913-1980.
Morgan, Barbara Brooks, 1900-1992.
Pomeroy, Marnie.
Price, Melville, 1920-1970.
Reinsel, Walter.
Roszak, Theodore, 1907-1981.
Seide, Charles.
Simkhovitch, Helena.
Smith, David, 1906-1965.
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-1975.


Art, American.
Italian Americans.
Painters -- United States.
Sculptors -- United States.
Sculpture, American -- 20th century.
Sculpture, American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Exhibition catalogs.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ezio Martinelli Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ezio Martinelli, 1968, 1969.

Table of Contents

Biographical material

Correspondence-subject files




Selected Index to Correspondence


Selected Index to Correspondence