Oil on wooden panel, 10 7/8 × 13 7/8 inches
Signed at lower left: “Nicola D’Ascenzo”
The muralist, painter, and stained glass designer Nicola D’Ascenzo was born
in Torricella, Italy, and studied art in Rome. He immigrated to the United
States in 1882 and settled in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. D’Ascenzo
studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and attended the Pennsylvania
Museum and School of Industrial Art from 1891 to 1893, where he simultaneously
taught mural decoration until 1894. At that time he resigned to travel abroad;
his position was filled by the noted illustrator Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966).
D’Ascenzo’s wife, Myrtle Dell Goodwin (1864–1954), taught applied design there
from 1886 to 1894.
D’Ascenzo ran a thriving interior design studio in Philadelphia for many years,
making stained glass for private residences, churches, and businesses in the
area and throughout the United States. Among his best-known works are the windows
for the Folger Shakespeare Library and the National Cathedral in Washington,
D.C., Riverside Church in New York, the Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley
Forge, and the “Nipper window” in one of the old RCA-Victor buildings in Camden,
New Jersey. He was a member of numerous art clubs and organizations such as
the Fairmount Park Art Association, the Philadelphia Society of Etchers, the
Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Arts and Crafts Guild of Philadelphia, and the
Philadelphia Sketch Club. D’Ascenzo often summered in Massachusetts, where
he was a member of the Rockport Art Association. The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
owns the archives of the D’Ascenzo Studios, including a collection of his drawings.
This unidentified shore scene is very similar to D’Ascenzo’s Seascape:
New Jersey, a painting that was formerly owned by the Schwarz Gallery.
Copyright ©2005 The Schwarz Gallery