The Purchase College community is profoundly saddened to learn of the passing of artist, mentor, friend, and professor emeritus Antonio Frasconi on Tuesday at the age of 93.
Frasconi began teaching printmaking at Purchase in 1973 at the age of 53. In 1983 he earned the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and further achieved the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor of Art+Design in 1986, an honor bestowed by SUNY that recognizes and rewards its finest and accomplished faculty for "consistently superb teaching."
Born in 1919 in Argentina to Italian parents, Frasconi grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay. He began his career as a political cartoonist there, then moved to the United States at age 26. Much of his work maintained a social conscience and political edge as he rose to become the most prominent woodcut illustrator of his generation. His numerous honors and awards included a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Institute of Art and Letters Award, Library of Congress Children's Literature Award, Rockefeller Foundation Residency, and the Lee Krasner Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
A simple Google search reveals the depth of reverence and gratitude generations of Purchase alumni hold for Frasconi in the vast number of resumes and bios claiming proudly he was their teacher.
"Starting teaching was probably the best thing that ever happened to me in my life," Frasconi stated in a 1994 interview.
He is survived by his sons Miguel and Pablo.
For more information, see the New York Times article "Antonio Frasconi, Woodcut Master, Dies at 93" (published Jan. 21, 2013).