The East Hampton Star | August 3, 2017
by Judy d’Mello
IT’S AS FAR FROM 53rd STREET AS YOU CAN GET, Victor D’Amico once said about the Art Barge on Napeague Harbor, which he founded in 1963, most likely referring to the spiritual distance between the beached idyll for artists and midtown Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art, where he served as … [continue reading]
Modern Magazine | August 22, 2016
WITH STACCATO MID-ATLANTIC DICTION, a radio announcer says, “There’s something going on now, up there on 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue.” It’s December 1949 and what’s going on is the Children’s Holiday Carnival at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, an initiative conceived by the museum’s founding director of education, Victor D’Amico, a man with an exceptional ability to adopt a child’s eye view. “If a four-year-old comes into the museum, he sees practically nothing,” D’Amico explains to the host. “He sees the bottoms of paintings or, more so, he just sees adult legs.” For four to eight-year-olds only, the carnival allowed children to experience art unobstructed by appendages or rules.
Over a five-decade career, D’Amico would nurture the artistic impulses of generations of young people, among them a teenaged Diane Arbus and longtime MoMA curator William Rubin. Today D’Amico’s unique vision continues in the forms of the Children’s Art Carnival in Harlem and the Art Barge art education center in Amagansett, Long Island. His remarkable legacy is preserved in the MoMA archives. But his inimitable spirit permeates the Victor and Mabel D’Amico Studio and Archive, housed in the residence in Lazy Point, Long Island, that D’Amico built with his wife, collaborator, and fellow art educator, Mabel. [continue reading]
27east | May 25, 2014
It is a sunny and buoyant Mother’s Day and I am sitting on a small beach, a spit of land in Napeague overlooking Hicks Island. A windsurfer glides by. Some seagulls swoop down and disappear as well. Behind me stands Mabel and Victor D’Amico’s home—the Mabel and Victor D’Amico Studio and Archive—a framed white house almost 75 years old.
While this is the day to contemplate my own parent who had left me an inspiring world view and valuable lessons, I am also remembering the D’Amicos, a symbolic mother and father to thousands of art students and instructors who taught about life and values: a belief that the arts are a humanizing force which vitalizes all aspects of being alive. [continue reading]