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Mayor Fiorello La Guardia reading the Daily News election results in 1941.


Contact: Joe Carella
Joseph J. Carella Associates Inc.

The Italian American Museum (155 Mulberry St., 212-965-9000) will exhibit oil paintings by Manhattan artist Antonio Petracca from March 28 to May 24. Petracca’s collection, entitled “Who Do You Think I Am?” challenges the viewer to examine his own notions, sometimes stereotypical, of what it means to be an Italian American.
“Who Do You Think I Am?” is a mini-retrospective selected from a larger body of work begun in 2002. Although Petracca has created art based on other themes, the art work in this exhibition is about his musings, memories and viewpoints concerning Italian immigrants and Italian Americans. Some of this art incorporates little known and historical facts.
“Is it okay to lampoon our [Italian Americans’] looks, mannerisms, religious ceremonies, importance of food and family?” asks Petracca. “Since our immigrant ancestors arrived at these shores, others have tried and partially succeeded in distorting who we are and what we do. It's your choice to recognize this as a problem or to dismiss it. My mission simply is to provide the viewer an opportunity to consider and reflect on these issues. If one is inspired to learn more about the history of Italian immigration and the Italian American story, then I am most rewarded!”

Born in Rochester NY, the first of six children, Petracca’s father Emmanuel immigrated to the USA from Palermo, Sicily at the age of four, through Ellis Island in 1904, along with his mother, older brother and younger sister. The elder Petracca’s affliction with scoliosis resulted in the family’s detainment on the island until a previously settled relative agreed to sponsor them.

The Italian American Museum is located at 155 Mulberry Street, at the corner of Grand St. Suggested donation to all events is $10. The Museum is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon to 6 pm. For more information, call 212-965-9000 or visit www.italianamericanmuseum.org.

Founded in 2001, the Italian American Museum is dedicated to exploring the rich cultural heritage of Italy and Italian Americans by presenting the individual and collective struggles and achievements of Italians and their heirs to the American way of life. The Museum received its provisional charter from the New York State Board of Regents on June 12, 2001 and is a 501(c) (3) organization.



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