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Joanne and Frederick Siegmund Papers related to Philip Pellegrino

 Collection — Box: AFAM-1
Identifier: A0061

Content Description

This collection comprises records compiled by Frederick and Joanne Siegmund as they were researching and collecting the works of Philip Pellegrino. It contains images of Pellegrino’s leather sculptures, gallery invitations to his show at Ricco Maresca Gallery, records of sales with the Siegmund family and various galleries, interview video footage, biographic information, and hand written notes. This collection provides a broad overview of Pellegrino’s work and also highlights Joanne and Frederick Siegmund’s interests in art collection and sales.

This collection would be of interest to anyone looking interested in Philip Pellegrino’s art or looking to learn about the history of folk art collecting.


  • 1980-10-19 - 2002
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1991

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Access to sensitive materials may be restricted at the discretion of AFAM.

Conditions Governing Use

The Joanne and Frederick Siegmund Papers Related to Phillip Pellegrino is owned by the American Folk Art Museum. The collection is subject to all copyright laws, and is dedicated to public use for research, study and scholarship.

Biographical / Historical

Philip Pellegrino (1919-1997) was born in Montreal, Canada on February 9, 1919. Pellegrino began working with leather as a teenager, while apprenticing with his uncle, who was a cobbler. He further developed his technique for sculpting leather while repairing shoes as a member of the Canadian army during World War II.

After the war, Pellegrino immigrated to Detroit and worked briefly on an assembly line before moving to Torrington, Connecticut and opening his own shoe repair shop. He created leather art in his shop, but did not find success in selling his artwork until his retirement.

In retirement, Pellegrino began to sell and display his works in art galleries such as Ricco Maresca Gallery in Manhattan and Jay Johnson Gallery. Joanne and Frederick Siegmund are noted patrons of Pellegrino. They credit themselves with “discovering” Pellegrino’s art and donated this collection of images, records of sale, notebooks, and video footage to the American Folk Art Museum.

Philip Pellegrino died April 19, 1997.

Sources: Connecticut Department of Health. Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2003.Artist biographies found in this collection.


5 file(s)

Language of Materials



The Joanne and Frederick Siegmund Papers Related to Philip Pellegrino contains images of the artist’s work, sales records, personal notes, inventories, artist biographies, news stories, and public access video footage of Philip Pellegrino (1919-1997) between 1980-2013. Born in Montreal, Pellegrino first learned to make leather sculpture art while working with his uncle as a cobbler. He later moved to Torrington, Connecticut where he opened his own shoe repair business and continued to create leather sculptures. As patrons of his art, Joanne and Frederick Siegmund credit themselves with “discovering” the artists and helped facilitate sales of Pellegrino’s work. They also arranged gallery shows for Pellegrino in spaces such as Manhattan’s Ricco Maresca Gallery. In 2018, Joanne and Frederick Siegmund donated this collection to the American Folk Art Museum.


The Joanne and Frederick Siegmund Papers Related to Phillip Pellegrino are arranged in folders by topic and date.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

If needed, the VHS tape and DVD can be played in AFAM’s Reading Room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Joanne and Frederick Siegmund in 2018.

Condition Description

All paper and photographic materials are in good condition. It is unknown, at this time, if the VHS tape is playable. DVD accompanying the VHS is believed to be a copy of the content on the VHS.

A Guide to the Joanne and Frederick Siegmund Papers Related to Phillip Pellegrino
Jordana Starkman
July 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Regina Carra

Repository Details

Part of the American Folk Art Museum Archives Repository

47-29 32nd Place
Long Island City New York 11101 United States
(212) 595-9533