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Youth Leading Industry

Attilio Piccirilli

American, born Italy. 1866 - 1945

Above the main entrance of 636 Fifth Avenue

This bas-relief was cast to capture the energy of a modern future emerging in Italy. The subject matter is neo-Roman and is a typical fascist theme of the 1930s: A youth shall lead the way. It was cast in forty-five Pyrex glass blocks, a groundbreaking use of Pyrex as an artistic material. Lit from behind, it is still a highlight of an evening stroll down Fifth Avenue. Attilio Piccirilli immigrated to the United States with his parents and six brothers in 1887. In 1893 he and his brothers opened an atelier and workshop on 142nd Street in the Bronx, specializing in stone.

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