Join Ashley Hopkins-Benton to explore the life and art of Henry DiSpirito in this virtual lecture. DiSpirito (1898–1995) emigrated from Italy in 1921, and found a nurturing home in Utica, NY. A stonemason and bricklayer by trade, he longed to devote his life to art. He found his calling in the direct-carving style of sculpture and became an accomplished painter as well. He exhibited at the Whitney, MoMA, and SculptureCenter in New York City, and was appointed the first artist-in-residence at Utica College in 1963. Through his art, DiSpirito developed a deep connection with students and faculty, as well as the larger community in Utica.
This virtual program takes place on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 starting at 6:30 pm. Free and open to all. Advanced registration is required and can be completed at https://www.oneidacountyhistory.org/programs.html. Registrants will receive a link and instruction on how to join this online event after registration is complete.
Ashley Hopkins-Benton is a Senior Historian and Curator of Social History at the New York State Museum, where she focuses on women’s history, LGBTQ+ history, immigrant and ethnic history, sculpture, and toys. She holds an MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program (where she began her research on Henry DiSpirito for her master’s thesis), and a BA in art education and studio art from SUNY Potsdam. Hopkins-Benton’s publications include Enterprising Waters: The History and Art of New York’s Erie Canal (SUNY Press, 2020), Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial (SUNY Press, 2017), and Breathing Life into Stone: The Sculpture of Henry DiSpirito (Fenimore Art Museum, 2013).
The Oneida County History Center is a private 501(c) (3) not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to preserving the history, heritage, and culture of the Greater Mohawk Valley for present and future generations. Admission to this program is free for the general public; donations are encouraged. Please contact the History Center at 315-735-3642 or visit the OCHC website (www.oneidacountyhistory.org) for additional information.