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Gino E. Conti Collection

Biographical note

Born in Barga, Italy in 1900, Conti emigrated with his parents to Providence, Rhode Island in 1903. Upon graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1923, he was awarded two scholarships to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and Academie Julian, both in Paris, France. During his time in Europe he also resided at the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria del Monte in Cesana, Italy. During the Great Depression in the late 1930s, he received contracts through the Works Progress Administration to paint two murals in Rhode Island; one at Samuel Slater Junior High School, Pawtucket and the second at Edwards Hall at the University of Rhode Island, Kingstown. During the late 1950s through the early 1970s, Conti began photographing people on the Hopi, Apache and Navaho (Dine) Reservations, and the Tarahumana people of Northern Mexico. He also taught Art at the Gordon School in Providence in the 1950s and 60s. After his death in 1983, over 3,700 photographs, a large Katsina doll collection and a number of objects from American Southwest, Northern Mexico and elsewhere were bequeathed to the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology in Bristol, Rhode Island.