Anthony La Paglia Biography

Anthony La Paglia



Anthony La Paglia was born in Italy on January 26, 1897, and came to the United States through Ellis Island around 1912 or 1913. His family first settled in Rochester, New York and then moved to New York City where he won a scholarship to study the violin at Julliard. La Paglia played the violin for many years before devoting his time solely to art. His brother, Alphonse, was a well-known silversmith who designed for Georg Jensen for a number of years.

La Paglia lived above the famous Elaine's Restaurant in New York City on Second Avenue. He led a simple life and was content to paint, compose, and teach an occasional student.  He was a member of the Washington Square Outdoor Show Association and his work was primarily impressionistic paintings and woodblocks, yet he did work in other media. The New York Historical Society has ten of his woodblocks in their holdings but toward the end of his life he was disappointed that he had received so little recognition for his work. 

A Catholic church commissioned him to do an altarpiece, later reneging on the price, so it stood in his apartment:  a huge sheet of stainless steel in which he had etched the Madonna. 

Anthony La Paglia died on December 9, 1993, in Bronx, New York.  Since his death, his work, especially his color woodblock prints, have been rediscovered, collected, and appreciated.

Source: Steven Thomas/Ask Art