DeMaio, Salvatore (1908-1960)
Salvatore DeMaio was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1908. He attended the city’s public schools. He entered the Yale School of Fine Arts, and in 1930, his senior year, won the Prix de Rome which granted him a free residence in Rome and an $8,000 scholarship for three years to study there and in other European cities. When DeMaio returned to the United States, he played the trumpet in Rudy Vallee’s and Artie Shaw’s bands in order to make ends meet. He worked for the WPA Federal Arts Project from 1935-1939, painting 21 easel paintings and five murals. Four of the murals were at the Teachers College in New Haven, the 2nd Regiment Armory in New Haven, Hamden High School, the Governor’s Foot Guard Hall in New Haven. The fifth was of the Battle of Santiago and was brought aboard the U.S.S. Phelps. DeMaio owned and operated the Weathervane Restaurant in Hamden and stored many of his paintings there. Unfortunately they were destroyed in a fire. He died in 1960.
Sources: WPA Artist’s Work Card; WPS Biography; ”New Haven Youth Wins Art Award For Study in Rome,” Hartford Courant, May 6, 1930; Photo Stand-alone 11, Hartford Courant, June 1, 1930; “To Rome,” Time, May 19, 1930. The following are from the New York Times: “Religious Works Win Prix De Rome,” May 6, 1930; “King Sees American Art,” May 28, 1932; “ART; Fifth Avenue Branch Opened,” November 21, 1933; “Italian Study Centre Established at Yale,” February 27, 1934; “Salvatore De Maio, Artist and Musician,” February 11, 1960.
Works of Art Listed in CT Archives’ database from Salvatore DeMaio: