About This Image

This image appeared in Edward Steichen's "Family of Man" book (p.102) and exhibition. Signed in pencil on verso with 551 Chestnut (address). Provenance: artist; Dody Weston Thompson.

J. Bertolino was born in 1914. After serving as a tail gunner in the United States Army during World War II, John Bertolino traveled throughout Europe and the United States before enrolling in the photography program at the California School of Fine Arts, 1948–1950.

In 1950 he returned to Italy with his Leica camera. Employing a direct and sensitive approach to documentary photography he produced an eloquent record of contemporary Italian life. This work, exhibited at the M. H. de Young Museum in 1952, was described by critic Alfred Frankenstein as "proletarian realism...all very true to life because it is also very true to the art of photography. Everything is beautifully placed and the resonances of tone are beautifully handled."

His work was included in the influential Family of Man exhibit at the NY Museum of Modern Art in 1955.

Bertolino died in 2003.

Selected Exhibitions: Italy: Photographs by John Bertolino, M.H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, September 1952* (and traveling to Italy) and St. Mary’s Mission, San Francisco, June 1957.* Perceptions, San Francisco Museum of Art, August–September 1954. Family of Man, Museum of Modern Art, New York, January–May 1955.

Selected Publications: Andy Gec?an, "Profile of an Artist," Viewpoint, 3:9, 1 September 1950, pp.10–11. Arthur Bloomfield, "Italian Camera Studies On Display at de Young Museum," San Francisco Call-Bulletin, 25 September 1952, p.3g. Alfred Frankenstein, "A Collection of Feathers Takes On a Serious, Majestic Tone,' San Francisco Chronicle, (This World), 5 October 1952, p.30. Dody Warren, "Perceptions," Aperture 2:4, 1954, p.17. Edward Steichen, The Family of Man, 1954, p.102. Alfred Frankenstein, "The Lively Arts: 'Family of Man'--N.Y. Museum Shows Photos," San Francisco Chronicle, 26 January 1955, p. 15. San Francisco Chronicle, (This World) 30 June 1957, p.14.

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Man Playing Mandolin (from "Family of Man")
J. Bertolino Man Playing Mandolin (from "Family of Man")

Price $1,500
Sale Price $1,050

Main Image

Ref.# 13885

Medium Silver print

Mount unmounted

Photo Date 1950c  Print Date 1950c

Dimensions 9-1/2 x 6-1/2 in. (241 x 165 mm)

Photo Country United States (USA)

Photographer Country United States (USA)


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