the artists

Albert Serwazi

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Albert Serwazi Albert Serwazi    

artist's biography

September 22, 1992 | by Jim Nicholson, Daily News Staff Writer

Albert B. Serwazi, a landscape and still-life artist and former artist- illustrator for the School District of Philadelphia, died Friday. He was 87 and lived in Newtown Square, Delaware County. Serwazi worked for the School District from 1962 until he retired in 1972. In an art career that spanned more than 70 years, he continued to paint almost until his death. He won numerous awards for his works. His painting have become part of the permanent collections of museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

He began his career as a graphic artist for the advertising firm of N.W. Ayer & Son. In his next job he became executive art director for the Lewis & Gilman and Neil D. Ivey agencies before being named assistant art director for Curtis Publishing Co.'s Ladies Home Journal magazine. However, said Bill Jones, former director of public affairs for the School District and now manager of media relations for the Philadelphia Electric Co., "his true love was painting. His colorful, freely brushed canvases portrayed his life and surroundings in Philadelphia and at the Jersey Shore."Al Serwazi was a quiet, self-effacing man with a wry smile, a quick wit and an ever-present twinkle in his eye. Most people took him as a retired country gentleman," said Jones, adding that he "was one of Philadelphia's foremost artists". Jones recalled Serwazi's saying once, "I'm very comfortable with who I am, what I have done. I'm an artist, a good one, I think, and I'm proud of the recognition of my work. But, personally, I don't need brass bands. I never did. I'm happy to just keep doing what I love to do, and that is to paint." In 1971 he was elected a national academician of the National Academy of Design in New York. He is also listed in "Who's Who In American Art." He had a major show, a retrospective of his work, at the American College of Bryn Mawr. Raised in Manayunk, the son of a tavern owner, Serwazi attended the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He became known for his Pennsylvania landscapes and New Jersey seascapes.