A SHARED LIFE IN ART: Nora Speyer and Sideo Fromboluti


PAAM 2015 exhibition catalogue

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Nora Speyer and Sideo Fromboluti first met as art students at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia. They were married in 1945 after Sideo had been drafted into the army. From the beginning of their married life, Nora and Sideo painted in the same studio and influenced each other’s aesthetics. The couple moved to New York City in the late 1940s and they built a summer home and studio on Higgins Pond in Wellfleet in 1966 after previous summers in Woodstock and Martha’s Vineyard. Both artists are consummate draftsmen and loved  painting in lush, impastoed surfaces. In the winter months, Sideo worked in an urban environment, his paintings and drawings leaning towards the figurative and capturing a subtle psychological dimension in his sitters. In contrast, Nora’s figural explorations sometimes delved into more personal psychological themes related to sex and death. During the summer months, both artists turned to nature for their inspiration. Nora enjoyed both in the studio and outdoors, favoring flowers, which she painted with a rich exuberance – her forms bursting with life and energy. Though he made sketches outside, Sideo preferred to work in the studio with motifs from his onsite drawings. Favorite subjects ranged from trees to images observed on Higgins Pond such as boats,  lily pads, and fishermen. Or,he enjoyed capturing the muted, transcendental mood of rain or fog on Patience Brook. A quiet visionary spell is often produced in the works done by both artists from nature. One of the most remarkable things about Nora Speyer and Sideo Fromboluti is that these two handsome people from a very different cultural backgrounds, met, fell in love and shared a deep and abiding passion for art and one another that lasted for an entire lifetime.

— Mary Ellen Abell