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CAMC Collection 100. Carregal, Joan Markson. Collection of Giovannella, 1950-1991: Overview

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Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online through our digital collections.

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Collection Description

Carregal, Joan Markson.  Collection of Giovannella, 1950-1991.  CAMC Collection 100.  1 Records Center Carton and 1 oversize Hollinger box.

The Joan Markson Carregal Collection contains correspondence, photographs, negatives, slides, and publicity materials relating to the painter Giovannella.  Joan Markson was born in New York City and given the nickname Giovannella (Little Joan) by Italian admirers.  The majority of the collection consists of correspondence and photographs relating to “Portraits of Nobel Laureates,” a project in which she painted portraits of over eighty science prize winners.  Also included is correspondence with friends and galleries, publicity materials, and news clippings and magazines featuring Giovannella.  Some materials are in Spanish.

Biographical/Historical/Organization Note

“Joan Markson, given the artist's name of Giovannella (Little Joan) by her Italian admirers, was born in New York City on November 20th 1936 and started painting at 4 years of age. She received her first prize at age 11 at the John Drew (Barrymore) Theatre Competition, Southampton, Long Island, New York, which only featured adult artists. At the age of 18 she received an Honorary Associate Award from the Latin Academy of Rome, Italy. Then, at the age of 21, she was made an Honorary Member of the Circulo de Bellas Artes of Madrid, Spain. At that time Chet Huntley narrated a half-hour documentary film about Giovannella for the popular television program, "Outlook," which was televised nationwide in the U.S.A. on NBC TV. At the only competition that she entered as an adult artist, the Salon de Otono of Madrid, she was awarded first medal and the special prize of the Duke and Duchess of Alba. After decades in Europe and numerous one woman shows in Italy, Spain and France, she married the youngest Spaniard at that time to complete his Doctorate in Spain. They both moved back to the United States where they had two sons. In the States, she had various shows in San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles. Her last major project involved the completion of over 80 portraits of Nobel Prize winners of science which now have a permanent home at the Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. Giovannella now lives in South Pasadena with the only surviving member of her family, her younger son Anthony, where she still paints. Her subjects are now taken from photos of cultural icons such as Michael Jackson, Russell Crowe and Barak Obama.”

*Biography taken from accessed 25 January 2011

Scope and Content

This collection is divided into two sections: Nobel Portraits and Other Works.           

Nobel Portraits, 1970-1991 and undated contains folders holding correspondence, photographs, and newspaper clippings about prize winners that were contacted to be a part of a collection titled “Portraits of Nobel Laureates.”  Organized alphabetically by last name.

Other Works, 1950-1990 and undated is composed of correspondence, publicity, photographs, and other personal papers of Giovannella’s that deal with her personal life and information about her other work.

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