DiSpirito (Henry) Papers. 1908-2007.

Collection Information

Repository: 

New York State Historical Association – Research Library
Special Collections
P.O. Box 800, Lake Road
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-1470                      

Collection: Henry DiSpirito Papers

Collection Number: 414

Accession Numbers: NM-017.04, NM-018.05, NM-017.06, NM-008.07, NM-8.2008

Extent of Collection: 4 cu. ft. + 2 v. + 1 oversize folder

Copyright Restrictions:

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction.  One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.”  If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

 

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains material relating to Henry DiSpirito’s work as a sculptor. It includes correspondence, publications, photographs, clippings, and audiocassettes.  It documents his participation in various exhibitions, contains professional and personal correspondence, and presents a visual record of his works and exhibitions through photographs.  While most of it was created during DiSpirito’s lifetime, his daughters Dolores, Theresa (Terry), and Loretta continued to collect material from exhibitions and communications pertaining to their father after his 1995 death.  Most of the material in this collection originated from the Utica, N.Y. area, where Henry DiSpirito lived for much of his life.

 

 Biographical Note

Henry DiSpirito (born Erasmo Orazio DiSpirito) was born on July 2, 1898 in Castelforte, Italy.1  As a youth, he apprenticed as a stonemason, his father’s trade.  DiSpirito emigrated to the U.S. in 1921, settling in Utica, New York, where he had  relatives.2  DiSpirito continued his work as a stonemason in the U.S.  In 1927 he married Rose A. Conte, and later had three daughters, Dolores, Theresa (Terry), and Loretta.3   From 1941 to 1943 DiSpirito studied art at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, particularly with Richard Davis.4  He began producing stone sculptures during his spare time, eventually exhibiting in numerous museums, notably the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, and the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.5  DiSpirito was known for his representations of small animals and insects, carved out of fieldstones.  In 1963, as he was retiring from the stonemason trade, he secured a position as artist in residence at Utica College, at which he remained for the rest of his life.  Henry DiSpirito died on February 23, 1995.

———-

1. James C. Mancuso, “Dreams in Stone,” Ambassador 48 (Spring 2001): 25.

2. Ashley M. Hopkins, Henry Di Spirito: The Man Who Can See Inside of Rocks (Thesis, State Universityof New York College at Oneonta, 2008), 14.

3. Mancuso, 26, 27-28.

4. Ibid., 26.

5. James Crawford, “The Sculpture of Henry DiSpirito,” American Art Review 13 (May-June 2001): 181.

6. Mancuso, 27.

 

Series Descriptions

Series 1 – Manuscripts. 1922, 1943-2003. 1.5 cu. ft. (2 boxes)

This series contains mostly correspondence related to DiSpirito’s art works and exhibitions.  Most of it was written to him, from institutions, colleagues, family, and friends, although it does contain letters he wrote as well.  It also includes accompanying photographs, pamphlets, and clippings, which were kept in this series in order to preserve the original order of the collection.  Folders with titles consisting of merely a letter of the alphabet contain various items from or by institutions / people with names beginning with that letter.  Arranged alphabetically.

Series 2 – Photographs and Other Media. 1942-2007. 1.5 cu. ft. (2 boxes)

The bulk of this series consists of photographs (and some slides) of DiSpirito’s sculpture, in which he frequently appears, either sculpting or posing with his work.  The photographs originate from exhibitions / institutions, DiSpirito’s studio or sculpture garden, as well as other private sources.  There is a mix of photographs taken by professional photographers, along with that which appears to have been taken by family, friends, or DiSpirito himself.  Additionally, the series contains audiocassettes of interviews with DiSpirito, particularly by his daughter Theresa, on his life and work.  There are also interviews with others on audiocassette, along with a videotape and two compact disks.  Arranged alphabetically.

Series 3 – Publications and Clippings. 1945-2003. 1 cu. ft. (1 box)

Contains catalogs, other publications, and newspaper clippings about Henry DiSpirito and his work.  Most of the publications are not entirely devoted to DiSpirito, but contain at least one feature on him or include him as part of a group exhibition.  Arranged alphabetically.

 

Inventory

Series 1 – Manuscripts

Box 1

414.1/1            -A-       1922, 1952-1981.       

.1/2            American Academy of Arts and Letters / National Institute of Arts and Letters. 1956.

.1/3            -B-       1948-1989.

.1/4            Biographical data for DiSpirito exhibitions. 1953-1973, undated.

.1/5            -C-       1948-2000.

.1/5A         Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired exhibition. 1992.

.1/6            Certificates and awards. 1979-1992.

.1/7            Colgate University. 1948-1964, 1996.

.1/8            Coonradt, Paul. Correspondence and photographs. 1952-1955, undated.

.1/9            Cooperstown. 1947-1996.

.1/10          Credits, community and school activity. Correspondence, photographs, clippings, and invitations.  1944-1983 (1 of 2).

.1/11          Credits, community and school activity. Correspondence, photographs, clippings, and invitations.  1944-1983 (2 of 2).

.1/12          -D-       1948-1995.

.1/13          DiSpirito, Henry.  Letters to daughters Dolores and Terry in Italy. Written in Italian. 1961.

.1/14          DiSpirito, Henry. Letters to family in Italy. English translations. Originals: 1945-1961.

.1/15          DiSpirito, Henry.  Letters to family in Italy. Written in Italian; signed “Raimuccio.” 1945-1953.

.1/16          DiSpirito, Henry.  Letters to family in Italy, other writings, envelopes, and clippings. Manuscripts written in Italian; many signed “Raimuccio.” 1945-1953, 1965.

.1/17          DiSpirito’s legacy. Correspondence, photographs, newsletters, and articles. 2005.

.1/18          -E-       1950-1975, 1996.

.1/19          -F-       1950-1983.

.1/20          -G-       1948-1990.

.1/21          “The Greeting.” 1969, 1996.

.1/22          -H-       1950-1992.

.1/23          Henry DiSpirito Memorial Service. 1995.

.1/24          Ilion Bicentennial. 1975.

.1/25          -J-        1963-1990, undated.

.1/26          John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 1954-1957, undated.

.1/27          -K-       1952-1997.

.1/28          -L-       1948-1997.

.1/29          -M-      1951-2002.

.1/30          Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester. 1970-1985.

.1/31          Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1951-1959.

.1/32          Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. 1944-1996.

.1/33          Museum of Modern Art – New Talent exhibition. 1949-1954.

.1/34          -N-       1951-1982.

.1/35          -O-       1963-2002.

.1/36          -P-       1944-1987.

.1/37          Pezze, Dan. “The Concert of a City (Poems of New York).” Dedicated to Henry DiSpirito. 1951, 1954.

.1/38          -R-       1943-1997.

.1/39          Rockefeller – Nelson and David. 1951-1958.

.1/40          -S-       1949-1992.

.1/41          Sculpture Center. 1950-1987, 2002.

.1/42          Starr, Nina and Nathan. 1947-1988.

.1/43          Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts / Everson Museum of Art. 1953-1957, 1997.

Box 2 – Legal size

414.2/1            National Academy of Design. 1978-1982.

.2/2            -T-       1950-1960, 1985.       

.2/3            -U-       1952-2003.

.2/4            Utica area school children. Thank you letters from Albany Elementary Schoolto Henry DiSpirito. undated.

.2/5            Utica area school children. Thank you letters from H.R. Jones School to Henry DiSpirito. 1990.

.2/6            Utica area school children. Thank you letters from Lincoln School to Henry DiSpirito, with mural. 1987-1988.

.2/7            Utica area school children. Thank you letters from St. Agnes School to Henry DiSpirito. 1990.

.2/8            Utica College. 1953-1999.

.2/9            Utica College. Dedication of Asa Gray statue. 1978.

.2/10          Utica College. Honorary Degree. 1989.

.2/11          Utica College. Multimedia art exhibit featuring Henry and Terry DiSpirito, and Frank Cecere. Guest Book. 1973.

.2/12          Utica College. “The Pioneer.” 1957-1973.

 

.2/13          Utica College. Retrospective exhibition. 1987.

.2/14          Utica College. “Sculpture from Private Collections” exhibition. 1992.

.2/15          -V-       1952-1956, 1982.

.2/16          -W-      1951-1985.

.2/17          -X-Z-   1951-1984.

Series 2 – Photographs and Other Media

Box 3

414.3/1            “Asa Gray” casting at Utica College. Photographs. 1978.    

.3/2            Canajoharie Exhibition. Photographs. 2001.

.3/3            Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Exhibition / HVCC. Braille tags. 1992.

.3/4            Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Exhibition / HVCC. Photographs. 1992.

.3/5            Christmas greeting card photographs. 1951, 1982-1993.

.3/6            DiSpirito Garden. Photographs. 2003.

.3/7            DiSpirito Garden / “The Ancestor” at Old Forge Art Center. Photographs. 1995.

.3/8            DiSpirito, Loretta Loconto. Tribute to her father, Henry. Slides, audio- cassette, and text. 1987.

.3/9            DiSpirito – Photographs of artist and works (circa 4 x 5”). 1965-1992, undated (1 of 2).

.3/10          DiSpirito – Photographs of artist and works (circa 4 x 5”). 1965-1992, undated (2 of 2).

.3/11          DiSpirito – Photographs of artist and works (circa 5 x 7”). 1952-1980, undated (1 of 2).

.3/12          DiSpirito – Photographs of artist and works (circa 5 x 7”). 1952-1980, undated (2 of 2).

.3/13          DiSpirito – Photographs of artist and works (circa 8 x 10”). 1955-1990, undated (1 of 2).

.3/14          DiSpirito – Photographs of artist and works (circa 8 x 10”). 1955-1990, undated (2 of 2).

.3/15          DiSpirito – Photographs of wood carvings (8 x 10”). 1968-1972, undated (1 of 2).

.3/16          DiSpirito – Photographs of wood carvings (8 x 10”). 1968-1972, undated (2 of 2).

.3/17          DiSpirito – Photographs of works (circa 4 x 5”). 1946-1996, undated (1 of 2).

.3/18          DiSpirito – Photographs of works (circa 4 x 5”). 1946-1996, undated (2 of 2).

.3/19          DiSpirito – Photographs of works (circa 5 x 7”). 1945-1955, undated (1 of 3).

.3/20          DiSpirito – Photographs of works (circa 5 x 7”). 1945-1955, undated (2 of 3).

.3/21          DiSpirito – Photographs of works (circa 5 x 7”). 1945-1955, undated (3 of 3).

.3/22          DiSpirito – Photographs of works (8 x 10”). 1942-1961, 1977, undated (1 of 4).

.3/23          DiSpirito – Photographs of works (8 x 10”). 1942-1961, 1977, undated (2 of 4).

.3/24          DiSpirito – Photographs of works (8 x 10”). 1942-1961, 1977, undated (3 of 4).

.3/25          DiSpirito – Photographs of works (8 x 10”). 1942-1961, 1977, undated (4 of 4).

.3/26          DiSpirito – Slides of artist and works. 1957-1987, undated (1 of 4).

.3/27          DiSpirito – Slides of artist and works. 1957-1987, undated (2 of 4).

.3/28          DiSpirito – Slides of artist and works. 1957-1987, undated (3 of 4).

.3/29          DiSpirito – Slides of artist and works. 1957-1987, undated (4 of 4).

.3/30          Exhibit at Herkimer County Community College (HCCC). 2000.

.3/31          Fenimore Art Museum. Photographs. 2001.

.3/32          “The Free Man.” Photographs and two articles. 1967.

.3/33          “The Greeting” – Hamilton, N.Y. / “Frontiersman” – Remington Museum. Photographs. 1996.

.3/34          Hamilton College exhibit at the Root Glen. Photographs and newspaper clipping. 1976.

.3/35          Hanna Park exhibition in Utica / Henry DiSpirito Day. Photographs. 1976.

.3/36          “Henry DiSpirito Remembered” – Cooperstown Art Association Gallery. Photographs. 1996.

.3/37          “In Memoriam” – Henry DiSpirito. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. Photographs. 1996.

.3/38          Interview with Dolores and Theresa DiSpirito about their father, Henry DiSpirito. Compact disks (2) and a printed list of topics covered. 2007.

.3/39          Retrospective exhibition. Photographs. 1987.

.3/40          St. Agnes School in Utica. Classroom photographs. 1990.

.3/41          Tranquille, Dante. Photographs of Henry DiSpirito and work (B & W) – for Terry DiSpirito. undated (1 of 2).

.3/42          Tranquille, Dante. Photographs of Henry DiSpirito and work (B & W) – for Terry DiSpirito. undated (2 of 2).

.3/43          Utica College. Exhibit at lounge on Plant St. Photographs. circa 1957.

.3/44          “Volunteer Fireman.” Photographs of original work and restoration, along with photocopies of photographs. 1970, 1988.

Box 4 – Legal size

414.4/1            Audiocassettes – Coming to America. 1986.

.4/2            Audiocassettes – DiSpirito, Henry and Theresa. 1986 (1 of 3).

.4/3            Audiocassettes – DiSpirito, Henry and Theresa. 1986 (2 of 3).

.4/4            Audiocassettes – DiSpirito, Henry and Theresa. 1986 (3 of 3).

.4/5            Audiocassettes – DiSpirito, Rose. undated.

.4/6            Audiocassettes – [Dr. Checci?]. undated.

.4/7            Audiocassettes – Freytag, M. undated.

.4/8            Audiocassettes – Interview with Brian O’Shea. undated.

.4/9            Audiocassettes – Interview with Dan Daniels. 2002.

.4/10          Audiocassettes – Interview with Ed Credle. 1999.

.4/11          Audiocassettes – Interview with [Mr.?] Christina. undated.

.4/12          Audiocassettes – Memories of Army service. 1986.

.4/13          Audiocassettes – Muskatt. undated.

.4/14          Audiocassettes – Russo, Maria. undated.

.4/15          Audiocassettes – Songs of Castelforte. 1986.

.4/16          Audiocassettes – Story of pieces at [Utica?] College. undated.

.4/17          DiSpirito, Henry – Interview with Maria Wallace on WKTV. Videotape. circa 1986.

.4/18          DiSpirito – Photographs of works (mounted on 10 x 13” boards). 1972.     

.4/19          Gibson, Cynthia Anne. Photograph album of works she purchased from Henry DiSpirito, and related letters. 1959-1960, undated.

Series 3 – Publications and Clippings

Box 5

414.5/1            “Adrean Terrace Monthly Press” [housing development in Utica, N.Y.], June 1950; and “Farewell March,” sheet music by Val Vinsky, inscribed to Henry DiSpirito. 1950-1954.

.5/2            Excerpts from Edmund and Rosalind Wilson books. undated.

.5/3            Exhibitions – Catalogs and other printed material. 1950-2003 (1 of 6).

.5/4            Exhibitions – Catalogs and other printed material. 1950-2003 (2 of 6).

.5/5            Exhibitions – Catalogs and other printed material. 1950-2003 (3 of 6).

.5/6            Exhibitions – Catalogs and other printed material. 1950-2003 (4 of 6).

.5/7            Exhibitions – Catalogs and other printed material. 1950-2003 (5 of 6).

.5/8            Exhibitions – Catalogs and other printed material. 1950-2003 (6 of 6).

.5/9            Newspaper clippings. 1945-1949.

.5/10          Newspaper clippings. 1950-1959.

.5/11          Newspaper clippings. 1960-1969.

.5/12          Newspaper clippings. 1970-1979.

.5/13          Newspaper clippings. 1980-1989.

.5/14          Newspaper clippings. 1990-1997.

.5/15          Newspaper clippings. 2000-2003.

.5/16          Newspaper clippings. undated.

.5/17          Publications with articles about Henry DiSpirito, including American Art ReviewAmbassador (NIAF), New York Alive, and A Matter of Common Sense: Traditional Rural Arts of Oneida, Madison, and HerkimerCounties, by Karen Lux. 1986-2001.

.5/18          Ruggiero, Duilio. Henry (Erasmo Orazio DiSpirito).  Written in Italian. 1998.

.5/19          Utica College. Henry DiSpirito calendar. 1996.

.5/20          Utica College publications. 1966-1990.

 

Volumes

414.v1             Scrapbook. Newspaper clippings. 1941-2002.

414.v2             Scrapbook. Thank you letters and photographs from Utica area school children to Henry DiSpirito. 1988.

 

Oversize folder

414.01             Elementary school report card of Henry DiSpirito, Dante Tranquille collage about DiSpirito, and posters (2). 1908, undated.

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