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Joseph Diano worked as a stained glass craftsman for nearly 70 years. Diano began training in stained glass at the age of thirteen, after a social worker recognized his talent. Joseph's mentor, Nicola D'Ascenzo, generously paid his tuition to the Philadelphia School of Industrial Arts. Except for a brief stint working in a shipyard during World War I, Diano remained with D'Ascenzo until 1943, when he joined the Willet Studio.
Diano's works are characterized by the use of antique glass, and deep, rich hues of blue, aqua, ruby, and emerald. Examples of his work can be found at the Washington Cathedral, West Point Academy, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Chapel at Princeton University, and the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., where he created memorial windows for presidents Garfield and Johnson. In 1940, Diano and his family were among the founders of Bryn Gweled Homesteads, Southampton, an experiment in cooperative living. He lived there until his death in 1987.
Joseph Diano. Image courtesy of the James A. Michener Art Museum archives.
Education and Training
Apprenticed to Nicola D'Ascenzo, 1917 at age thirteen
Philadelphia School of Industrial Arts, (now University of the Arts), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, c. 1919
Teachers and Influences
Connection to Bucks County
Joseph Diano and his wife Helen, a social worker, were among the founders of Bryn Gweled Homesteads, a social experiment in cooperative living established in Southampton in 1940. Diano did all the stone work on his home, including its foundation and crafted metal shelf brackets and fireplace tools. Some stained glass remains in the home, although Mrs. Diano removed most upon moving to Florida after Joseph's death.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Robert F. Bishop, an architect who lived in Bryn Gweled and designed many of the homes there
Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Official emblem of Churchville Nature Center, Bucks County Park Board
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, New York
Chapel of Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey Valley Forge Chapel, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
First Baptist Church, Augusta, Georgia
Memorial windows, Presidents Garfield and Johnson, National City Christian Church, Washington, D.C.
Washington Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
Washington Hall at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Art teacher, Bedford Settlement House
Affiliations and Memberships
The Painters and Decorators Union of Philadelphia
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