Domenico Mortellito (b. Newark, N.J. 1906 - 1994)
A Newark native, Domenico Mortellito is one of the forgotten names when it comes to the innovative industrial design and craftsmanship displayed at the New York World’s Fairs. An alumni of the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art and Pratt Institute, Mortellito had a studio in New York City where he became involved the various W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) and T.R.A.P. (Treasury Relief Art Project) projects from 1927 to 1942, experimenting with lacquer, linoleum, ceramics, and new plastic acrylics.
Mortellito played a role in various 1939 World’s Fair pavilions with an exterior mural on the Heinz Dome (see above) and interior murals in the DuPont, Ford, Food North, and Academy of Sports pavilions. He created these vibrant works by deep-etching figures into a linoleum base, applying paint, and finishing with a layer of lacquer. He extended his relationship with DuPont, working as a design consultant for their advertising department in the 1950s, and heading their pavilion and exhibit design for the 1964 NY World’s Fair.
Pamphlet and Design Rendering in the Collection on the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair, Queens Museum.
—Richard Jung Lee, Archival Fellow