Clemente Spampinato, American (1912 - 1993)

Clemente Spampinato

Clemente Spampinato was born in Calabria, Italy in 1912. At a young age while being schooled in the classical arts in Rome, he developed a keen love for both art and athletics. He became a devoted follower of top Italian sporting events. He befriended many of Italy's top-flight athletes including the great Olympic Champions. In the 1930's & '40's he was commissioned to sculpt many Bronze Trophies & Medallions for the Olympics and other Italian sporting events.

Although Spampinato became a successful artist in Italy, he longed for much more. In 1947 he became an American citizen and moved to SoHo, New York, which became his new home. His newfound passion was the "American West". He was inspired by the legends of American Cowboys & Indians. He specialized in sport and western sculptures. He lived a full life of art and sport and then quietly passed away in New York in December 1993.

His sculpture captures the 'essence of movement' beautifully when the human body is at the 'greatest point of height, speed and dynamics'. His belief that art, in particular sculpture, has its objective solidly rooted in tradition. He has been admired for his ability to bring to life the complex movements of sport and western life while at the same time maintaining a strong sense of realism. Each bronze sculpture is cast in special limited editions and is handcrafted in the "lost wax bronze" method.

In more recent times, Spampinato has been involved in several one-man exhibitions, including in 1968 a 'Sport and Western' exhibit at the National Art Museum of Sport at the Madison Square Garden in New York. His show, a "Salute to the Olympics", held at the Abercrombie & Fitch Gallery in New York, was a gala benefit to raise funds for the 1972 Olympic Games.

Among his many achievements, Spampinato was commissioned by the Class Committee of the United States Naval Academy to create a bronze statue of the 'Navy Goat' mascot. It was installed in 1957 at Annapolis, Maryland. In 1974, he was selected to create the greater-than-life size bronze of the famous golfer, Bobby Jones, now on permanent display in the World Golf Hall of Fame in Pinehurst, North Carolina. A few years later in 1980, he was chosen to exhibit his works during the XIII Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, New York. The United States Information Agency chose Mr. Spampinato to represent the United States in the European and Russian exhibitions entitled 'Reflections: Images of America'. He was a Fellow of many distinguished organizations, including the National Sculpture Society, the International American Institute and the Gold Medal Artists Committee of International Fine Arts Council.

Clemente Spampinato's bronzes are displayed in many museums, galleries and both private and public collections throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Currently, some of his sculptures can be found at the following locations: Clydes of Georgetown, Washington DC; Clydes of Gallery Place, Washington DC; National Baseball Hall of Fame, Coopertown, NY; Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, OH; Vintage 429 Landmark Gallery, New Orleans, LA. The complete sculpture collection is on display at the Redwood Gallery in Sea Cliff, New York.

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