Alessandro Mastro-Valerio Biography

Alessandro Mastro-Valerio




Alessandro Mastro-Valerio was born in Italy, was educated at the Salvador Rosa Institute in Naples, Italy (1906-1912), and came to the U.S. in 1913.  He settled in Chicago, and after a brief period as a commercial artist, established a portrait studio near the Loop.  Among his patrons were the industrialists Harvey S. Firestone and Anheuser Busch.

He moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1919 and received a mural commission the following year from the Ypsilanti National Bank.  Mastro-Valerio taught at Ypsilanti Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) during the summers of 1922 and 1923.  He was also on the part-time faculty at the University of Michigan (1924-26) where, after a trip to Italy in 1927, he was appointed to the full-time faculty.

In addition to portraits and murals, his oeuvre includes landscapes, seascapes, and figure studies in oil and watercolor.  He is best known for his mezzotint* prints, particularly his female nudes.  His work helped to revive mezzotint as an artistic medium in the United States.

A member of the Ann Arbor Art Associate, the Chicago Society of Etchers*, the Society of Design (Associate 1951), he retired from the University of Michigan in 1952.   He died in Ann Arbor in 1953.