Sante Graziani Biography

Sante Graziani




Painter, printmaker, muralist, and educator Sante Graziani was born March 11, 1920, in Cleveland, OH, the son of Tuscan immigrants. He attended the Cleveland Institute of the Arts, graduating in 1941, and worked for the WPA as a muralist, designing works for the Columbus Junction and Bluffton post offices in Iowa, and at the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

After graduation from the Institute he enrolled in the Yale University art program, receiving his BA in 1943 before enlisting in the U.S. Army to serve in World War II. He was stationed in the Pacific Theater as Officer in Charge of Arts and Crafts, teaching GIs to draw and paint, and when the war ended he curated a major exhibition at the Imperial Museum of Tokyo. He was also commissioned to design war memorial works by the Belgian and U.S. governments: the first, a monument in Henri-Chappelle, Belgium; the second, a commemorative U.S. stamp.

Upon his return to the U.S. in 1946, he enrolled in the graduate program at Yale University, earning his MA in 1948 and awarded an Edwin Austin Abbey prize for Outstanding Graduate Art Student. He then taught painting and drawing at the Yale University School of Art from 1946 to 1951, counting Claes Oldenburg among his students, before taking up a thirty-year career at the School of the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. He would serve as Dean for several years before moving to Hamden, Connecticut, in 1982 to serve as Dean at Paier College of Art. In 1995 he became Dean Emeritus and continued to teach at Paier as well as the Rhode Island School of Design and Albertus Magnus. He continued to teach until his death in 1995.

His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, WI; the Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN; and the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX, among others.