50.000 x 50.000 x 1.500 inches
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Painting - Oil And Acrylic On Canvas
I wanted to depict the exhaustion and demoralization our great grand parents experienced. They received medical exams by unqualified personnel. Our names changed and shortened without right. There was much sacrificed by them for us to live in this great country.
"Isola della Lacrime" (island of tears) was what the Italians coming to America termed Ellis Island. At the turn of the 20th century, between 1876 to 1924, over four and a half million Italians arrived in the United States, out of a population of only approximately 14 million in Italy. Unable to earn a livelihood in their home country, they became migratory laborers. Figures show that, for the period leading up to 1900, an estimated 78 percent of Italian immigrants were men in their teens and twenties, who planned to work, save money and eventually return home to Italy. Ultimately, 20 to 30 percent of these Italian immigrants returned to Italy permanently.
Italian immigrants established hundreds of mutual aid societies, based mainly on kinship and place of birth. As large numbers of Italians began to settle in America they began to establish enclaves where they felt they would be safe from the prejudice and fears of the largely Irish and German communities that surrounded them. These communities are often referred to as Little Italy's and would be a mix of small business, bakeries, taverns and men and women selling breads and fruits from push-carts. Many of these communities would publish their own Italian-language newspapers, which contained news from Italy, promoted Italian culture and provided an outlet for frustrated new immigrants who could not yet fully understand English. L'Eco d'Italia in New York, L'Italia in Chicago and L'Eco della Colonia in Los Angeles were some of the main papers that were published.
April 21st, 2012
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