Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia

Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia (June 14, 1909 – September 17, 1982) was an American impressionist, painter, sculptor, composer, actor, director, designer, architect, jeweler, and lithographer. Described as "the world's most reproduced artist", DeGrazia is known for his colorful images of Native American children of the American Southwest and other Western scenes. DeGrazia also painted several series of exhibitions like the Papago Legends, Padre Kino, Cabeza de Vaca.
Born to Italian immigrants, DeGrazia's family immigrated from San Pietro, Amantea, Calabria (Southern Italy). His parents, Dominic and Lucia DeGrazia, were strong people who worked very hard for their family of seven children. His father and uncles were copper miners in Morenci, Arizona Territory, where DeGrazia was born in 1909. Arizona achieved statehood in 1912.Wikipedia



 

After working briefly in the mine, DeGrazia hitched a ride to Tucson with his trumpet and $15 in his pocket. He enrolled at the University of Arizona in 1933, where he supported himself planting trees on campus by day and leading his big band at night. During one performance he met Alexandra, the daughter of Fox Theater owner Nicholas Diamos. Ted and Alexandra wed in 1936 and moved to Bisbee so DeGrazia could manage the Lyric Theater there, also owned by the Diamos family. The couple had three children during this time but divorced in 1946.( degrazia.org )





DeGrazia continued creating his early paintings in Bisbee and by 1941, Raymond Carlson, editor of Arizona Highways, started publishing features about the artist. On a rare vacation to Mexico City in 1942, DeGrazia and Alexandra left an evening ballet performance and headed to the Palacio Municipal where muralist Diego Rivera was working. This encounter led to an internship with Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. The two Mexican masters then sponsored a solo exhibition of DeGrazia’s paintings at the prestigious Palacio de Bellas Artes.
After returning to Tucson, DeGrazia found that no gallery was interested in exhibiting his artwork, so he bought an acre of land with $25 down at Prince Road and Campbell Avenue to build his first adobe studio in 1944, and also received a BA in Education from the University of Arizona. The following year he received a BFA, plus a Master of Arts titled “Art and Its Relation to Music in Art Education”.( degrazia.org )





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