Savastano Studio, Photograph of Beatrice Gazzolo (standing, second from left) teaching at the Florence Cane School, ca. 1935-36. Nell Blaine papers, 1930-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

36. Beatrice Gazzolo

Life Dates1904-1982
Place of BirthPortland, OR, USA
Place of DeathNew York, NY, USA
Birth NameBeatrice Gazzolo

Beatrice Gazzolo was born in Portland, Oregon, and moved as a young child with her parents to Riverside, California, where her mother’s family lived.1 She graduated from the Riverside High School in 1922 and matriculated to a local junior college for two years, after which she transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles (then called the “Southern Branch”), attending for two semesters and declaring an art major. She married in January 1926 to Paul St. John, a New York-based perfume manufacturer. The marriage apparently soured, and Gazzolo was back in Los Angeles by 1930 where she was in charge of summer sessions at UCLA. In 1933, she voyaged to Europe and, upon her return, remained in New York City, where she pursued studies at Teachers College.2 From 1936-1937, she also served as the assistant director of the Florence Cane School of Art located in New York City and attended the Art Students League, studying with Vaclav Vytlacil and Amelio Amero.3 Between 1946 and 1949, she headed the education program of the Woodstock Guild in Woodstock, New York, and in the early 1950s she was employed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s department of display. Nell Blaine and Gazzolo were friends, and the two likely met when Blaine took classes at the Woodstock Guild in the late 1940s. Blaine likely encouraged Gazzolo to learn printmaking at Atelier 17. According to Peter Grippe’s student ledger book, Gazzolo attended Atelier 17 in the spring of 1952, but none of her prints are known to survive.4 She lived in New York until her death in 1982, unfortunately the victim of a violent crime.5

Selected Bibliography

“Beatrice Gazzolo Weds Paul Donald St. John of New York.” The San Bernadino County Sun. January 13, 1926.

“Guild Craftsmen to Hold Open House Next Tuesday.” The Kingston Daily Freeman. January 16, 1948.

“Mrs. Frances Gazzolo Announces the Marriage of Daughter Phyllis.” The San Bernadino County Sun. March 16, 1930.

“Woodstock Craftsmen’s Fair Marks 7 Years of Effort.” The Kingston Daily Freeman. December 13, 1946, sec. 2.


  1. Thank you to Gazzolo’s relative, David Seccombe for sharing some biographical details about the artist. David Seccombe, email to Christina Weyl, March 23, 24, and 27, 2017, and family tree (titled SECCOMBE_DAVID_G).
  2. Gazzolo completed three terms at Teachers College between 1934 and 1936, pursuing a BS in Fine Arts, but she did not graduate. Thank you to Sandra Afflick, Assistant Registrar for Operations and Records, Teachers College, Columbia University.
  3. Nell Blaine, who was friends with Gazzolo, maintained a small subject file about the artist, which can be found in the Nell Blaine papers, 1930-1985, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Included are a photograph of Gazzolo teaching at the Florence Cane School, a résumé dating to the late 1940s, and copy of the brochure for the summer 1948 session at Woodstock Guild of Craftsmen. Information for this biography relies heavily on the 1940s résumé.
  4. Student ledger book, p. 24, Allentown Art Museum/Grippe Collection, Allentown, Penn.
  5. June Preston, “Holiday Marred by Violent Deaths,” Honolulu Advdertiser, January 2, 1982, 12.