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Raccogli e passa

July 20, 2014

The Watts Towers in Southern Italy: Connecting California with Irpinia

Laura E. Ruberto
Laura E. Ruberto
hands of Angelo Filarmonio, holding a photo of himself, Amoroso Raimondo and Cirino Filippo at the Watts Towers, 1984

Looking for the future of Sabato Rodia’s Watts Towers in the small town of Serino, in the province of Avellino.

March 13, 2014

Mobsters in Sin City

Laura E. Ruberto

The Las Vegas Mob Museum doesn’t know what to do with all those Italian American gangsters everyone loves to talk about so much.

December 21, 2013

The Spectacle of the Nativity in Valenti Angelo’s Art

Laura E. Ruberto
Valenti Angelo
Valenti Angelo's The Bells of Bleecker Street, 1949

The children’s book author and illustrator Valenti Angelo highlights Italian American Christmas Celebrations in his works.

November 18, 2013

Revisiting Southern Italy through the Lens of a Future Anthropologist

Laura E. Ruberto
Frank Cancian
"Lacedonia: Un paese Italiano, 1957/An Italian Town, 1957," photos by Frank Cancian (Delta 3, 2013)

Introducing "Lacedonia: Un paese Italiano, 1957/An Italian Town, 1957," Frank Cancian’s photographs of Lacedonia (AV), repackaged for a new century.

October 22, 2013

“The Mediterranean Came to Flavor My Existence”: Harry Bertoia’s Midcentury Italian American Aesthetic

Laura E. Ruberto
Cornell University Museum
Harry Bertoia, “Diamond” chair for Knoll Associates, originally produced in 1952 (this example manufactured in the 1970s).

Reflections on how Italy shaped (or didn’t) the midcentury modern design of artist Harry Bertoia.

July 30, 2013

Italian American Monuments, Gramsci-style

Laura E. Ruberto
Laura E. Ruberto
Inside the Archive room of the Gramsci Monument, Forest Houses, Bronx, New York City

Upon visiting Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument in the Bronx, passing reflections on impermanence, aesthetics, and what makes something Italian American.

March 20, 2013

Italian American Victrola-Spinning

Laura E. Ruberto
Laura E. Ruberto
Italian American Music Store Labels, Found on 78s and Their Sleeves

From a Massachusetts living room to a California garage—collecting and preserving Italian American soundscapes.

January 10, 2013

An Italian Topography within a California Cemetery

Laura E. Ruberto
Laura E. Ruberto
Italian immigrants' tombstone, Mountain View Cemetery and Gardens, Oakland, California

On the ethnicity of tombstones.

July 9, 2012

The “Naive Wooden Sculptures” of Theodore Santoro

Laura E. Ruberto
Theodore Santoro's "naive wooden sculptures"

An Italian American self-taught artist from Oakland, California, adds yet another chapter in the story of Italian Americans and material culture.

October 12, 2011

Il Fanciullo del West: Shorty Joe Quartuccio’s Country Western Sound

Laura E. Ruberto
Shorty Joe and his Red Rock Canyon Cowboys - 1947 (Shorty Joe Quartuccio, Bob Simas, & Jim Franchina)

A Few Notes on California’s Sicilian American country music history.

March 17, 2011

Leo Politi, Saint Joseph, and Las Golondrinas

Laura E. Ruberto
Leo Politi
cover of "Song of the Swallow," 1948

Children’s literature, the Watts Towers, and Italian-Californian celebrations of Saint Joseph’s Day.

March 2, 2011

The Case of the Missing Fasanella Painting

Laura E. Ruberto
Ralph Fasanella
"Welcome Home Boys" (1953)

How I uncovered that the City of Oakland, the Oakland Public Library, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Oakland International Airport have misplaced Ralph Fasanella’s...

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