piccoli paesi

terre, paesaggi, piccoli paesi / il blog dei borghi dell'Appennino

Posts Tagged ‘Angela Paolantonio

BOOK RELEASE, The Ghosts of Italy


Written by A_ve

14 settembre 2016 at 07:03

from L’Americana Lucia’s Anticoli, Town of Madonnas

Lucia’s mother, Madonna of Anticoli

90 year old Lucia Nebel White was born into a family of beautiful Madonnas.

On a gorgeous late June evening, bottle of wine in hand for the dinner that would follow, we arrived.

In the studio

You’ll like her, Betty says. She’s Italian, she’s a photographer and she lives in an old-stone studio that was once her fathers.

Now, it goes without saying this was the perfect trifectafor me – Italy, photography and old stone – Betty knew, I was an easy read. But it didn’t prepare me for who I was about to meet.

Piacera! Piacera! signorina’ Lucia beamed, opening the door of her Westport kitchen, vintage paintings and photography lining the walls … ‘Forgive me dear, I am not so smooth these days with my Italian!’ And I assure her that at the moment, neither was I.
To reach her, we trekked our way lightly through an overgrown garden across a tree shaded bridge through a bramble of bushes and out onto a bright grassy clearing where high on a stone porch not unlike Italy, assorted potted flowers were in bloom…

The stone studio in Westport

Her father was American Beaux-Arts sculptor Berthold Nebel. Her mother Maria Lucantoni – just one of a family of Italian beauties, born in Anticoli Corrado – was his model. He met her mother while studying at the Art Academy in Rome.

Anticoli, you see, was known for its beautiful women’, Lucia tells us. Women so classically alluring that artists studying at the Academy back then (they were mostly, perhaps even exclusively men) would flock to the town to hire, and sometimes even marry them.

‘They came from Spain, from South America, from all over the world, just for the models’, she says. ‘Do you know the Fontana della Naida in Rome? She was from Anticoli, and she became famous!’

At one time there were over 55 artists studios in Anticoli. Lucia’s two Aunts and cousins on her mother’s side all posed as models.Pirandello and Pasquarosa -one of the youngest & a cousin, who became a painter herself – were neighbors. They called it, the Town of Madonnas.

As a young American photographer Lucia was a contemporary of Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen ( ! ) She confesses over a glass of wine and a caprese salad, that she narrowly missed the deadline to exhibit in MoMA’s The Family of Man – a moment recalled with the faintest tinge of regret.

‘Steichen was a real stickler about submitting. I was only 3 days late. If it had been up to Stieglitz well, my Anticoli images would have made it in.’
Lucia’s B/W images of her mother’s town from the late 1940s on, are as ethereal and evocative as the circle of life itself.

Berthold Nebel in his studio
Nereid, Sea Nymph


Lucia with her book

Lucia Nebel White has exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is in the collection of the International Center of Photography in NYC and in the Historical Society of Westport CT.

You can also find her book My Anticoli: Town of Madonnas on Blurb.

But we hope to find her and her images in Anticoli, Italy very soon…

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Written by A_ve

10 luglio 2014 at 07:12

Pubblicato su Varie

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Omaggio a Piazza della Repubblica / Calitri


This is hands down my favorite postcard of Calitri.

I have admired it’s vintage Kodachrome colors on the wall of Dorrina Paolantonio’s apartment for years. And it could easily be her in pencil skirt and white blouse strolling around the Piazza della Repubblica, while turning to glance at the guy on the vespa closing in behind her.

I say omaggio because today the Piazza is little like it used to be, and not only because of the 1980 earthquake. It has been left mostly abandoned, no more than a parking lot for the Comune.

But the real omaggio goes to Dorrina’s family who had a Singer repair shop on the Piazza for at least 3 generations; their Singer sign painted on a side wall still visible, though beautifully faded as part of the general rubble.
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Written by A_ve

16 Maggio 2012 at 18:23

Pubblicato su Paesi

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L’Americana Ghosts of Italy

Today is my grandfather’s Birthday.

Both my grandparents were born in November. Angelamaria on November 21 and Nicola on November 12. In Italy birthday rituals are reversed. That is, on the day, family and friends receive gifts from the honoree. It’s usually a simple affair. In Calitri they bring the cake for the family for desert or offer their friends a drink or a coffee and a pastry at the bar.

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Written by A_ve

13 novembre 2011 at 08:40

Look for the door…

For an American woman who first discovered her roots here eleven years ago, who has returned consistently ever since and has now chosen to live in one of these ‘piccoli paesi’ in Alta Irpinia, life here has offered beautiful experiences beyond what I could have imagined. Lucciole and the poems of  Pasolini are just the beginning.  I step outside myself and the vanquished memories of a 1st generation upbringing each day as I step outside my door on via Fontana.  The door of maternal origins. The door of an emigrated, lost, & now honored grandmother. From Brooklyn origins to Los Angeles retirement and back again my parents watch listen and follow from afar as I contribute to the memory of the ghosts of our ancestors. Their 1st generation indifferences and concerns of having lost one of their own to a far away and misunderstood land quietly put aside. Since arriving ‘to stay’ with pride and joy I continue to contribute to the village in large and small ways. It is now a personal quest for me to see that this place this landscape this as yet un-trampled gem of Campania not only survives but thrives … I remain at your service Alta Irpinia. You only need to ask …

If you would like to follow some of my adventures here below is a link to my personal website and blog chronicling my point of view with fotos and text http://lamericana.blogspot.com

zona del museo di archeologia a Aquilonia, '03

Written by lamericana1

1 agosto 2011 at 13:00

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