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December 22, 2008

An Epic of Mediterranean Culture

Joseph Sciorra
Joe Milone and his Exhibited Shoe Shine Stand, 1942.

Sixty-six years ago, the Museum of Modern Art exhibited a Sicilian-American bootblack’s decorated shoeshine kit, contributing to the museum director’s eventual dismissal.

September 28, 2008

Backyard Figs from Brooklyn

Joseph Sciorra
Joseph Sciorra

In which this blogger says nothing more profound than he really, really likes figs.

September 20, 2008

What’s So Funny about the Virgin Mary?

Joseph Sciorra
Luca Enrico Fantini
St. Mother Cabrini (LuLu LoLo) and me.

Ludic and hybridic reworkings of Catholic imagery and ritual are part of recent reimagining of Italian-American culture and identity.

September 14, 2008

The Sound of Italian-American Cultural Philanthropy

Joseph Sciorra

What happens when a PBS station targets Italian Americans as donors?

September 2, 2008

La Madonna Nera of New York City

Joseph Sciorra
Smiljana Peros
Drawing la Madonna Nera in chalk, Manhattan, September 8, 2006.

Italian Americans gather at a gay bar in Manhattan in celebration of the Black Madonna.

August 28, 2008

Lace in the Crystal City

Joseph Sciorra
Joseph Sciorra
The exhibition “Lace, the Spaces Between,” Corning, New York.

An exhibition presents women’s domestic needlework in Corning, New York.

August 24, 2008

A Sicilian named George Wallington

Joseph Sciorra
George Wallington album, 1954

Jazz pianist Giacinto Figlia aka George Wallington was at the founding of be-bop. Then he disappeared. Now Anthony Scotto’s resurrects his life and music.

August 20, 2008

Sending a Telegram to the Pope

Joseph Sciorra

Power, Humor, and the Triumph of the Lower Bodily Stratum.

August 14, 2008

A digital message in a bottle.

Joseph Sciorra
Roman Bronze Works, Brooklyn, circa 1910

A test of the Internet and's power to connect.

August 11, 2008

A wall, a poem, a summer epiphany.

Joseph Sciorra
Joseph Sciorra
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 2008.

I am reminded of Eugenio Montale's haunting poem upon discovering a simple barrier wall built by an Italian immigrant in Brooklyn during the 1930s.