Sonny Jurgensen ORIGINAL 1965 Union Oil - Volpe Artwork - Signed by Artist - 1/1 - HOF Redskins
** Original Artwork ** In 1965 Nicholas Volpe was commissioned by Union Oil to come up with artwork for a set of plastic tumbler glasses that they were going to sell at gas stations all across the country. This is the original (one of a kind) artwork of Sonny Jurgensen - the Hall of Fame Quarterback of the Washington Redskins. The artwork is signed by Volpe with the date in the lower right hand corner.
Picture measures; 21 x 14"
Frame measures; 29 x 24.5"
This artwork was used on several NFL items - including NFL glasses (see photos with artwork), and the glass will be included in the auction with the original artwork as it is a great piece to display with the item. The glass is a 5.5” tall insulated glass/cup that was part of a 12 cup set issued in 1965. Distributed by Supermarkets gas stations in the Washington DC Area. Nicholas Volpe was the artist. Very nice shape, lite wear, few small cracks, one 2.5”. Others listed, diff teams as well.
Artist History – Nicholas Volpes came from Italy and was living in New Haven, Connecticut when son Nicholas was born in 1911. The talented young Nicholas was sent back to Italy to study, not art, but violin, returning to the U.S. to attend Syracuse University on, of all things, a football scholarship! After graduating Nicholas Volpe overcame the challenge of thousands to become one of six winners of the Tiffany Foundation Art Scholarship Award.
After a time on Long Island he became a fine arts instructor at New York City's Leonardo da Vinci Art School, where he stayed two years before relocating to Jacksonville College in Florida where to serve as the Dean of Arts. According to Volpe: Portrait of an Artist he moved to Hollywood to not only design sets but also create makeup and fashion costumes. It was during this time that he began painting portraits of the stars which would eventually land him the commission from the Academy.
After winning his Golden Grammy for the Sinatra album he was commissioned by the Hollywood Brown Derby to paint nearly 200 top recording artists for the Derby's Hall of Fame Record Room. Nicholas Volpe would also have a newspaper column, Byways, published in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. Byways was what you might expect, a typical column would feature Nicholas Volpe drawings with accompanying commentary, also by Volpe.
Volpe was teaching art again at Pepperdine University in 1973 after which time he would begin a love affair with Mexico where he and his wife would travel on numerous occasions throughout the 1970's and was on a lifetime commission from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to create his Oscar portraits. Volpe had other sports themed work as well, especially for the Dodgers with whom his time in Hollywood seems to have especially aligned him. Beyond the world of sport and film Nicholas Volpe would be commissioned to create portraits of John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan back when he was Governor of California.
In the world of music he won a Golden Grammy Award for his illustration of the album cover for Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely and his 1964 portrait paintings of each Beatles member are currently for sale online.
Volpe was back for his final Union Oil Dodgers set in 1982. Nicholas Volpe died in 1992.
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