Sylvia A. Spicuzza (1908 - 1998)

Birth date: 1908 Death date: 1998  
Birth location: Death location:  
Media: Graphic Art , Painting Web site:
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Sylvia A. Spicuzza

Born 1908

Died 1998

Sylvia Spicuzza was the daughter of Italian immigrant and noted Wisconsin artist Francesco Spicuzza.  At a very young age she took up an interest in art, spending her free time drawing and painting.  She continued to follow in her father’s footsteps, and in 1926 she was selected as one of twenty-five high school students who received an honorable mention in an exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Institute (now the Milwaukee Art Museum). 

She graduated from South Division High School in Milwaukee and then went on to study at Milwaukee Normal School, which later became Wisconsin State Teacher’s College-Milwaukee.  In addition to becoming a nationally recognized Milwaukee artist, she taught art at Shorewood High School and Lake Bluff School in Shorewood. 

During the Great Depression she lost her job, as married female teachers in Shorewood and surrounding communities were laid-off.  However Spicuzza continued to create art at home, and in 1940 she returned to teaching at Lake Bluff School.  During this time she also earned a Master’s degree in Education by attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois on weekends and during summer vacation.

Although Spicuzza inherited her artistic talent from her father and was always in his shadow, she managed to establish herself in the art world.  Her work, which is predominately figurative, has a unique quality due to the fact that she relies on memory and her imagination rather than working from a model.  Unlike her father whose paintings of poetic nature scenes tended to be more conservative, her work is composed of unusual compositions, representing a newer generation of artist.

Selected Group Exhibitions:

1926                Honorable Mention, Milwaukee Art Institute

1930-1931      The Milwaukee Journal’s Gallery of Wisconsin Art

1976                Seven Arts Society Annual Exhibition Marshall Field & Co.

n.d.                  Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors

© 10/23/2007 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin                                                                              6/2/2010

Wisconsin Affiliations

No affiliations were found.

Wisconsin Art Organizations

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