Henry DiSpirito (1898-1995) was an Italian immigrant who came to Utica, NY, in 1921 from Castleforte, Italy. He settled into the heavily immigrant populated neighborhood of East Utica and found work as a stonemason/bricklayer; a trade he learned from his father. Through his work on a Works Progress Administration (WPA) art project creating dioramas and subsequent study at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute, he found his calling in direct carving in stone.
The Rome Historical Society will host “Henry DiSpirito: Stonemason to Sculptor,” a virtual program looking at the life, art, and experiences of DiSpirito in Utica, NY, set for Wednesday, June 16th at 7 pm. This talk will be led by Ashley Hopkins-Benton, and will focus on DiSpirito’s immigrant experience, and its impact on his art.
Ashley Hopkins-Benton holds an MA in History Museum Studies from SUNY’s Cooperstown Graduate Program and a BA in Studio Art and Art Education from SUNY Potsdam. She is now Senior Historian and Curator at the New York State Museum and has done extensive research on Henry DiSpirito’s life and legacy.
Portrait of Henry DiSpirito.