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When asked once if he had been encouraged to paint as a young man, Martino responded, "No one could stop me."
Antonio Pietro Martino was born in Philadelphia the son of Italian immigrants and one of seven brothers, who would all become painters. He showed an early interest in art, and when he was 13, he began taking classes with his brother Giovanni at the Graphic Sketch Club in his South Philadelphia neighborhood. Within two years, he was taking evening classes at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (now The University of the Arts) and studying weekends at both the Spring Garden Institute and the La France Institute. Martino soon began showing his work and by the age of 23, he had exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. While living in the city, Martino and his brother spent weekend mornings painting in Bucks County. His early landscapes of New Hope and along the Delaware River show a strong impressionist influence. Martino is best known for his richly colored, darkly atmospheric landscapes of Manayunk, which he started painting in the 1930s and would remain his favorite subject for nearly 40 years. In 1971, Martino moved to California where he painted seascapes and landscapes up until his death in 1988. Martino's work has been exhibited at major institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. In his lifetime, Martino was honored with over 80 awards and his works are represented in more than 25 permanent collections.
Six Martino brothers, shown left to right: Edward, Albert, Giovanni, Antonio, William, and Ernest. Image courtesty of Babette Martino.
Education and Training
Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now The University of the Arts), Philadelphia, PA
La France Art Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Teachers and Influences
Albert Jean Adolfe (1865-1940)
Connection to Bucks County
During his early career, Martino and his brother Giovanni spent weekend mornings painting the landscapes in Bucks County, returning in the afternoon to their studio in Philadelphia.
Martino exhibited with fellow Bucks County artists Edward Redfield and Daniel Garber, at the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in Philadelphia for which he was awarded a bronze medal.
Martino was a friend of Bucks County artist, Walter Baum, who founded the Kline-Baum School (later the Baum School of Art) in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In the 1950s, Martino taught and exhibited at Baum's institution.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Walter Baum, Daniel Garber, Edward Redfield, Arthur Meltzer, Harry-Leith Ross, Kenneth Nunamaker, Walter Shofield, George Sotter, Robert Spencer, John Folinsbee, Clarence Johnson
The Art Club of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, 1925
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1925-1946
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA, 1925, 1927-1954, 1960, 1964, 1966
Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA, 1925, 1926
Sesquicentennial Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, 1926
Corcoran Gallery Biennials, Washington DC, 1926, 1930, 1935-1939, 1943-1951,1955
National Academy of Design, New York, NY, 1926, 1927, 1937, 1964
Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art Alumni Association, Philadelphia, PA, 1939
Wanamaker Regional Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA, 1935
Golden Gate Exposition, San Francisco, CA, 1940
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, 1940-1944
National Arts Club, New York, NY, 1958
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, Pennsylvania
American Watercolor Society, New York, New York
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
National Academy of Design, New York, New York
Reading Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania
Springville Art Museum, Springville, Utah
University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Affiliations and Memberships
Association of National Academicians
National Academy of Design
Philadelphia Sketch Club
Philadelphia Water Color Club
American Watercolor Society
Woodmere Art Museum
Jennie Sesnan Gold Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1938
Gold Medal, DaVinci Alliance Annual Exhibit, 1942
Kaster Prize, Salmagundi Club, 1953
Gold Medal of Honor, National Arts Club, 1959
Saltus Gold Medal of Merit, National Academy of Design, 1964
First Prize and Gold Medal, California State Exposition, 1973
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Instructor, Baum School of Art, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1950s