Frank Vittor Biography

Frank Vittor




Sculptor Frank Vittor was born in Mozzato, Cuomo, Italy on January 6, 1888. He studied art in Milan at the Academy of Beres and then traveled to Paris, France to study under Auguste Rodin. When Vittor was 18, in 1906, U.S. architect Stanford White brought Vittor to New York to work on his staff. White, who had designed Madison Square Garden II, was murdered at a performance at The Garden two weeks after Vittor arrived. With little money and knowing very limited English, Vittor decided to stay in America and soon opened an art studio. He met his future wife, Ade Mae Humphreys, a resident of Pittsburgh, PA and made the move to her home town.

Vittor is best known for his monumental works, which include a Congressional commission to honor Lindbergh’s flight, which he completed in 1929. He did monumental sculptures of public figures including John Brashear, Honus Wagner, Christopher Columbus, Marconi and Thomas Jefferson, which are in Pittsburgh.  Vittor also sculpted busts of many US Presidents including Coolidge, Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln and designed numerous plaques and medallions and even a US postage stamp honoring Lindburgh and a 1936 Gettysburg half dollar to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle.

Vittor sculpted a number of war memorials around Pittsburgh, including one for WWI at Peabody High School in 1921 that included seven 14 foot figures. In 1949 he designed a World War II memorial for the 5,000 veterans from Pittsburgh's Eighth Ward. The eighteen-foot limestone memorial stands in Morrow Park.

In 1951 Vittor submitted a design for a one-hundred-foot statue for Pittsburgh's Point State Park. The statue depicted Joe Magarac, the allegorical steelworker. The design was rejected, but Vittor's three-foot plaster model is now displayed at the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society in Oakland, PA.

Frank Vittor died in Pittsburgh, PA on January 21, 1968.