Oronzio Maldarelli was born in Naples, Italy in 1892 and came to New York City in 1900. He studied at Cooper Union from 1911 to 1914, and again in 1916. He also studied at the National Academy of Design. He had a well-received show at the Smithsonian in 1929. He first worked in jewelry design but is most known for his work in architectural sculpture. He taught Sculpture at the Sarah Lawrence College and at Columbia University.
Partial List of Sculptural Commissions:
- Marble Bird Bath in New York City Central Park
- Friezes at Radio City Music Hall
- Air Mail, sculpture of a postman installed at Washington DC Post Office
- Madonna, sculpture in the Lady’s Chapel of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City
- Glass mural for Lehigh Portland Cement Company in Allentown, PA
- Three marble reliefs for the Queens Library in New York City
- Facade sculpture for the Hartford Public Library in Connecticut
- The Spirit of Youth, a playground centerpiece installed at James Weldon Johnson Houses in East Harlem.
Oronzio received Guggenheim Fellowships in 193l and 1943; American Academy of Arts and Letters medal in 1948; George D. Widener Memorial Gold Medal in1951; Garden Sculpture Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia in1953; New York Architectural League silver medals for sculpture in1954 and 1956. He was inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009.