Salvatore Cartaino Scarpitta (1887-1948) was born in Palermo, Italy. After graduating from the Instituto di Belli Arti in Palermo and Rome, he moved to the United States in 1910. Primarily a sculptor, he exhibited works in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and other museums.(1) He executed a bust of Benito Mussolini that Il Duce placed in Rome, and a replica was made for the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C.(2) At the time these busts were created Mussolini was still popular at both home and abroad for bringing order to Italy following World War I. Scarpitta, awarded a prize by the American Institute of Architects for the three panels over the entrance of the Stock Exchange, also designed a marble relief over the entrance to the Stock Exchange's board room and the bas relief over the entrance of the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.(3)
Footnotes:1 Who's Who in American Art, 1940-1941.
2 "Mussolini Cast in Bronze," Los Angeles Times, April 10, 1933.
3 "Salvatore C. Scarpitta, Famous Sculptor, Dies," Los Angeles Times, August 19, 1948.
The text has been provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, June 1998.
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