PMPM Hosts Opening Reception for Del Deo Family: Art & Activism on the Outer Cape

September 1st in Provincetown
“The Shuckers - Homage to the Patricia Marie” - painting by Salvatore Del Deo photo from Del Deo family

The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum (PMPM) will host an opening reception for its new exhibition “Creating a Difference - The Del Deo Family of Provincetown: Art and Activism on the Outer Cape” on Saturday, September 1, 2018 from 5:30pm-7pm.  The reception is free and open to all. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be provided.

The exhibition is featured at the PMPM throughout the 2018 season. As members of the year-round community for over 70 years, Salvatore Del Deo and his late wife Josephine recognized the importance of working alongside the many groups that made up Provincetown’s diverse winter and summer populations. They possessed a rare ability to form alliances among internationally celebrated artists and writers with members of the local fishing community. The Del Deos’ ability to span social and cultural divides allowed them to influence popular opinion and muster the votes, often needed in town hall, to decide the many causes that they championed from nurturing the arts and culture of Provincetown to preserving the dunes and the storied  “dune shacks” of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

“Provincetown is a place of remarkable natural beauty, unique culture, and a fascinating, deep and layered history. It often inspires the question, why is this place like this?” said Sam Tager, PMPM Consulting Curator. “This exhibition seeks to answer that question, in part, by focusing on the lives, art, and historic preservation efforts of Salvatore and Josephine Del Deo who came to Provincetown, fell in love with the place and each other and together, embarked on a life of dedicated service to their community.”

My wife and I have been involved in trying to preserve some of what we love,” said Sal Del Deo.

According to the exhibition description, “their determination to preserve and defend Provincetown with word, deed and instigation has left a legacy of major impact on the natural, cultural, culinary, architectural and educational landscape of the Outer Cape. The lives of Salvatore and Josephine Del Deo demonstrate that through constant industry and an unfailing commitment to future generations individuals can indeed create a difference.”

The exhibition includes paintings by Salvatore Del Deo, literature from Josephine Del Deo, sculpture from son Romolo Del Deo, and commemorative pieces that represent the impact that the family has had on the community. Salvatore came to Provincetown in the summer of 1946 to study painting with Henry Hensche at his Cape School of Art, originally founded as the Cape Cod School of Art by Charles Hawthorne. Salvatore and Josephine settled in Provincetown in the 1950’s and have been fixtures of the community ever since. They were founders of the Fine Arts Work Center and Josephine was instrumental in the fight to preserve the Province Lands from developers and she was a key advocate in the 1960’s establishment of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Courtney Hurst, President of the PMPM Board of Trustees noted “Growing up in Provincetown, the impact of the Del Deo’s on our community was palpable. As a family, they not only influenced the town's history, but influenced and inspired so many individual lives with their genius and generosity.”


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