2012 June

Leroy Neiman’s Name Synonymous with Sports Art

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Leroy Neiman, the Academy’s 2007 Sport Artist of the Year, will be remembered as the artist who invented the genre of Contemporary Sport Art. He died Wednesday in New York at the age of 91.

Neiman, a colorful and entertaining artist instantly recognized by his handlebar mustache, became widely known with his appearances on live television painting athletes at the very moments that they were competing in the Olympics. He painted brilliantly colored, stunningly energetic images of the sports world, capturing its motion and emotion in his brushstrokes.

Dr. Rosandich (left) presents Leroy Neiman (right) the Academy's 2007 Sport Artist of the Year award.

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, who founded the American Sport Art Museum and Archives in 1984, praised Neiman for his ability to portray sport action quickly through a variety of mediums. Several pieces of his artwork are displayed at ASAMA.

“His name is synonymous with sport art,” Dr. Rosandich said. “When anyone would talk about sport art, they would inevitably mention his name. No one contributed more to sport art than he did with his presence on TV turning out great art. He was just as colorful as his paintings.”

Neiman was the official artist at five Olympiads, including creating on-the-spot images on live television during the 1972 Summer Games in Munich and the 1976 Games in Montreal. In 1972, he also sketched the world chess tournament between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer in Reykjavik, Iceland, for a live television audience. He was the official computer artist of the Super Bowl for CBS.

Neiman was named official artist of the Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid in 1980 and in Sarajevo in 1984, as well as the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984.

Neiman found a niche in sport art that was untouched and pioneered the genre with great enthusiasm.

“For an artist, watching a Joe Namath throw a football or Willie Mays hit a baseball is an experience far more overpowering than painting a beautiful woman or leading political figure,” Neiman once said. “Concentrating on sports has helped me because I couldn’t refer back to past movements. There hasn’t been any sports art to speak of. I’ve had the field pretty much to myself.”

His role in pop culture spanned for decades, creating works for Playboy magazine since its inception in 1954.  His illustrations for a short story in Playboy, “Black Country,” in 1954 earned the magazine an award from the Chicago Art Director’s Club. The series “Man at His Leisure” appeared in the magazine for 15 years, and included his impressions of events, such as the Grand Prix in Monaco, the Beatles in London and the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Neiman’s powerful imagery of boxing, especially of Muhammad Ali, earned him induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007. His paintings and sketches of Ali during 15 years of the prizefighter’s boxing career permanently reside at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Ky.

He was so closely identified with the world of boxing that actor/director Sylvester Stallone tapped Neiman to appear in four of his “Rocky” movies.

During his career, Neiman endowed a number of institutions, donating $6 million in 1995 for the creation of the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies at Columbia University and $3 million to his alma mater, the Art Institute of Chicago, where he taught for a decade. He also donated $1 million to create a permanent home for Arts Horizons, a community art center in Harlem.

His works are in many private and public museums, including The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., which Neiman selected to house his archives. In addition, he has received numerous accolades and honors.

The St. Paul, Minn., native, who was in the invasion of Normandy and fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, said he preferred to think of himself simply as an American artist.

“It’s been fun. I’ve had a lucky life,” Neiman said in an Associated Press interview in 2008. “I’ve zeroed in on what you would call action and excellence. Everybody who does anything to try to succeed has to give the best of themselves, and art has made me pull the best out of myself.”

Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of nearly 1,700 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Academy Team Starts Retraining of Malaysia Physical Education Teachers

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A United States Sports Academy team of sports education instructors have begun retraining 1,000 of Malaysia’s physical education teachers as part of a new pilot program.

The Malaysia Ministry of Education (MOE) approved a pilot program with the university and it kicked off in June and runs through December. The program is being taught in six different locations throughout the country, which is considered one of the most beautiful in Southeast Asia.

The first Academy instructors are in Malaysia helping to retrain the country's physical education teachers. Pictured from left to right are: Tim Dornemann, Dr. Dale Reeves, Dr. Tim DeVinney, Dr. T.J. Rosandich, Stewart Edmondson, Dr. Lawrence Bestmann and Anthony Castelon.

For the pilot program, the Academy’s faculty developed a 10-course diploma program to teach in Malaysia, which was approved by the Malaysian Qualifications Authority (MQA), a national accrediting body.

Initially, six Academy educators are teaching in Malaysia. They will be joined in July and November by 14 other instructors to help deliver the program.

Leading the program is Dr. Dale Reeves, who has taught and coached basketball, football and softball at the high school level for about 35 years and who received his doctorate in Sports Management in 2002 from the Academy. In all, about 30 physical education instructors from the Academy will be involved in the Malaysia program.

The Academy’s relationship with Malaysia spans many decades, beginning when Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich coached track and field in the country when it gained independence in the 1950s. Currently, the Academy is delivering its International Certificate in Sports Management (ICSM) and International Certificate in Sports Coaching (ICSC) programs through the National Sports Institute (ISN) in Malaysia.

The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, is the largest graduate school of sport education in the world and has delivered programs to more than 65 nations across the globe during its 40-year history.

Malaysia's Deputy Minister of Sports Anuar Shah (far right) speaks with the Academy's students at Tun Razak Teacher’s College in Kuching, Malaysia.

Dr. Rosandich says he looks forward to the Academy’s instructors helping Malaysia’s teachers have a significant impact on the country’s sports programs for youth.

“We are retraining them in the area of sport to help build interscholastic sports programs, which are key to the American sports system,” he says. “Having coached there years ago, I know Malaysia has great talent and it should be fun to work with its educators and young people.”

If you are interested in teaching opportunities overseas in Malaysia or elsewhere with the Academy, please forward a letter of interest, résumé, and three professional references to jobs@ussa.edu;  or to United States Sports Academy,  Attention: Dean of Administration and Finance, One Academy Drive, Daphne, AL 36526; or fax it to  251-621-2527.

Congratulations to Our Newest Graduates and Honor Roll Students!

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With rolling enrollment, the Academy’s students start their courses as soon as they are accepted without having to wait for the next semester to begin. The Academy is proud to announce its latest monthly graduates.

Bachelor’s Students

  • Andrew Patrick Davis (Homer, N.Y.) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Daniel S. Flowers (Swainsboro, Ga.) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Robert T. Havens (Conroe, Texas) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Keith James Perrigo (North Syracuse, N.Y.) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching

Master’s Students

  • Aaron Christopher Becker (Danville, Calif.) – M.S.S. Sports Management
  • Christopher Ian Dundr (Rock Hill, S.C.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Richard Michael Hoover (Bellville, Ohio) – M.S.S. Sports Management
  • Jerry Richard Lee (West Union, S.C.) – M.S.S. Sports Studies
  • Michael R. Montesano (Webster, N.Y.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Jon Caleb Patterson (Tensed, Idaho) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching NCAA Compliance Emphasis
  • Jerome Ravon Robinson (West Bloomfield, Mich.) – M.S.S. Sports Management
  • Walter Dominic Ulrich (Elk Grove, Calif.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Phillip Warner (Ewa Beach, Hawaii) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching


Academy’s Fall 2011 Dean’s and President’s List Students

Congratulations to the following Academy students on their academic performance. Undergraduates on the Dean’s List earned a 3.40 to 3.99 GPA, while graduates on the Dean’s List earned a GPA of 3.80 to 3.99. Students on the President’s List earned a perfect 4.0 GPA.


Dean’s List

  • Dieker, Adam
  • Greco, Gianfranco
  • Hall, Kevin
  • Meyer, Gretchen
  • Miller, Joseph
  • Platt, Rylie
  • Summer, Matthew

President’s List         

  • Frye, Anna
  • Gilman, Bernice


Dean’s List

  • Adams, Michael
  • Bailey, Kimberly
  • Benyak, Christene
  • Connolly, Joseph
  • Corbett, Aubrey
  • Furlough, Taylor
  • Garner, Jared
  • Harpole, James
  • Heiner, Jaime
  • Jones, Darius
  • Joya, Noel
  • Linares, Bradley
  • Martinez, German
  • McKenzie, Karima
  • Moss, Daniel
  • Nelson, Shane
  • Shreve, Frank
  • Turner, Jeffrey
  • Dornemman, Timothy
  • Ellis, Thomas
  • Estrada, Robert
  • Sauder, Molly
  • Spradley, Brandon

President’s List

  • Adams, Gregory
  • Burgener, Shawns
  • Faucett, Arien
  • Harrelson, Clay
  • Jakobs, Daniel
  • Mauer, David
  • Packett, Brion
  • Prescott, Patrick
  • Welch, Blaine
  • Tevlin, Andrew
  • Walden, Ashley
  • Davie, Keith
  • Magner, Amber
  • Miller, Anthony
  • Moore, Justin

Academy Offers Free Introduction to Coaching Course Online

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The United States Sports Academy is now offering its second FREE online course to the public.

Introduction to Coaching is designed to help coaches develop the tools to become more successful as leaders, teachers and administrators. The course will help participants  learn how to define a coaching philosophy, communicate more effectively, motivate and support athletes, set goals, manage and prevent injuries, follow nutrition and conditioning guidelines, manage risk, and become a role model for athletes.

Introduction to Coaching teaches the keys to being a successful coach.

The Academy’s Introduction to Coaching course follows the delivery of its Sport Art Appreciation course that was launched in April free of charge. The Academy, the largest graduate school of sport education in the world, also plans to offer a free course on Olympism that will be available soon.

Introduction to Coaching includes six units: Ethics, Administrative Principles, Methodology and Pedagogy for Sports Coaching, Sports Conditioning and Nutrition, Injury Management for Coaches, and Sport Psychology. Supplemental materials including videos, up-to-date articles and other readings are used to enhance and augment the program.

Betsy Smith, Director of Academic Administration and Continuing Education, says the coaching course is much needed, especially for volunteers, parents or others who are new to coaching.

“We hope it will give people a deeper appreciation of the host of duties and skills necessary to be a good coach in today’s society,” she says. “Also, people can learn how easy our online courses are to navigate.”

The Academy, also known as “America’s Sports University®,” offers its courses 100% online, allowing students to take courses whenever and wherever they want. “Rolling” enrollment allows them to begin and complete their studies whenever they are ready and at their own pace.

The final test in the free coaching course consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and is “open book,” meaning participants may use the course reading materials during the exam. There is no time limit for completing the test.

Participants who successfully complete the course may purchase four Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and receive a certificate of completion.

Begin the course now by simply going to the Academy’s webpage for the free courses.

You can also visit the Academy’s homepage at www.ussa.edu and click on “Take a Free Course.” For additional information, email continuinged@ussa.edu or call 251-626-3303.


American Sculptor Linson Wins International Olympic Committee Art Competition

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American Martin Linson’s bronze sculpture paying tribute to the Paralympic athlete won first place at the 2012 London Olympic Sport and Art Contest.

The St. Charles, Mo., sculptor became the second American artist in the past three Olympiads to win the International Olympic Committee (IOC) art competition. The 2012 contest was held Monday, June 11 at the IOC’s Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"Omnipotent Triumph" by Martin Linson won the International Olympic Committee art competition for sculpture.

His sculpture, “Omnipotent Triumph,” was selected in the sculpture category from entries from 62 nations by an IOC jury with judges from five continents. Linson’s piece “Omnipotent Triumph” features a Paralympic athlete crossing the finish line in his wheelchair with his arms uplifted in a triumphant “V” for victory pose.

The 36-year-old emerging artist says that Paralympians have always been amazing to him and he wanted to show them at a point of perfection—finishing and winning the race.

“I’m shocked. I never thought I would win whatsoever,” said the modest Linson, who has begun making three more bronzes of other Paralympians. “I knew it was something special. However, I just wanted to recognize these athletes because I felt their amazing accomplishments should come more to light.”

Coincidentally, the Paralympic Games first began the last time London hosted the Olympic Games. Following World War II, English Dr. Ludwig Guttmann organized the 1948 International Wheelchair Games to coincide with the 1948 Olympic Games in London. The 2008 Paralympic Games in Bejing involved 3,951 athletes representing 146 countries.

Linson qualified for the IOC art competition when he won the U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest in February. The U.S. contest was conducted by the United States Sport Academy in cooperation with the Art of the Olympians and under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

It was the fourth consecutive U.S. Olympic Sport and Art contest that the Academy has overseen. The sports university has a strong tradition of supporting the arts, establishing the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) in 1984, which arguably contains one of the largest collections of sport art in the world.


Linson entered the U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest for the second time. He finished as a runner-up in the 2008 competition. Linson has a unique style in the representation of the human anatomy that has brought him major commissions such as the President of Lindenwood University. Linson is an adjunct art professor at Lindenwood and The St. Louis Art Institute, and he is the owner of Linson Studios and Lighthouse Screen Printing. Linson, who has studied under well-known, St. Louis-area sculptors Harry Weber and Don Wiegand, has other works displayed in numerous private collections.

Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, a member of the IOC’s Culture and Olympic Education Commission, served on the judging committee for the art entered into the 2012 London Olympic Sport and Art Contest. Rosandich praised Linson’s work, noting that American Sergey Eylanbekov’s sculpture, “Five Continents,” won the IOC Sport Art Competition for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

“We are very pleased with the outcome and the sculpture Linson did honoring Paralympians,” Dr. Rosandich said from Lausanne, Switzerland. “This is a tremendous way for the United States to start the Olympics with another American artist winning our country’s first gold.”

The IOC’s Olympic Museum, which oversaw the international phase of the art contest, awarded $30,000 and a diploma for the first prize; $20,000 and a diploma for the second prize; $10,000 and a diploma for the third prize; and five further diplomas for runners up. In addition, Linson’s work will be highlighted at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and then will go on permanent display at the IOC’s museum along with the other winners.

Jack Scharr, who chaired the selection committee for the U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest, said he thought Linson’s sculpture of the Paralympian in a wheelchair strongly captured the theme of the IOC art contest, “Sport and the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.”

“With most Olympic countries competing in the event, what a wonderful thing for Linson to win first place,” said Scharr, president of Fine Art Ltd. “When it won the U.S. Olympic competition, we felt it had a great chance for a medal in Lausanne. The news that it took first place has everyone here overjoyed.”



People, Places and Programs

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Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich participated as a member of the International Jury for the 2012 London Olympic Sport and Art Contest held at the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"2009 College Game of the Year" by Daniel Moore

Dr. Tim Foley, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, was inducted as part of the inaugural class into the Yucca Valley (Calif.) High School Hall of Fame for his play for the Kansas State University baseball team.

Dr. Lawrence Bestmann, a longtime Academy national faculty member, opened an online store, www.DrBsMovementArtsFun.com, that sells a variety of health and fitness items along with his new motivational book for children, “You can, you can!”

Tom DeLong travelled to Thailand to teach Sports Biomechanics from June 11-15 as part of the International Certification Sports Coaching program with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).

Daniel Moore, the Academy’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, prevailed in a lawsuit filed by the University of Alabama with the 11th Circuit Court ruling his paintings and artistic expressions are protected under the First Amendment.

Raold Bradstock, the Academy’s 2003 Sport Artist of the Year, set two senior world records in the javelin, throwing the 700-gram javelin 76.15 meters (249 feet, 10 inches) and the 800-gram javelin 67.10 meters (220 feet, 2 inches). The 50-year-old Bradstock is preparing for his eighth Olympic Trials this month for the Great Britain team.

Daniel You, the Academy’s 2001 Sport Artist of the Year, has an exhibit, “Only for You,” at the Labworlds Fine Art Gallery in Paris that began June 5 and runs through July 14.

Don Anthony, a former Olympian in the hammer throw for Great Britain in Melbourne in 1956, died recently. Anthony dedicated his life to the Olympic Movement as an internationally recognized sports historian, teacher and writer. He was 83.


National Associate of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention – June 22-28 in Dallas

AdvancED International Summit 2012 “The Power of Disruption: Creating the Future of Education” – June 24-26 in Washington, D.C.

First International Congress on Culture and Society – June 28-30 in Ankara, Turkey

National Strength and Conditioning (NCSA) annual National Conference – July 11-14 at Providence, R.I.

The Fifth International Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU) Conference – July 14-16 at Loughborough University, England

Summit for Leaders in Advancement – July 15-17 in Washington, D.C.

The International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport 2012 (ICSEMIS 2012) – July 19-24 in Glasgow, Scotland

2012 London Olympics – XXX Olympic Games July 27-Aug. 12 in London


Americans Josh Hamilton and Carmelita Jeter Voted Academy’s Athletes of the Month for May

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Texas Rangers’ slugger Josh Hamilton, who became only the 16th major league baseball player to hit four home runs in a game, and American sprinter Carmelita Jeter, who ran the world’s fastest time this season in the 100 meters at 10.81 seconds, were chosen as the United States Sports Academy’s May Athletes of the Month.


Hamilton turned in a huge month that included the four-homer performance May 8 at Baltimore. In that game, the centerfielder also added a double to set the American League record for most total bases in one game with 18. He hit safely in the first 13 games of May as part of a 16-game hitting streak. For the month in 25 games, Hamilton led the majors with 12 home runs, 32 runs batted in and a .781 slugging percentage. In addition, he batted .344 and had a .405 on base percentage.

Meanwhile, Jeter continues to reign as the fastest woman on the planet. She broke her meet record of 10.86 seconds in the 100 meters by .05 seconds at the JN Jamaica Invitational IAAF World Challenge meet. Her dominance continued in the 100 meters in the IAAF World Challenge in Daegu, South Korea (11.11 seconds) and the Cayman Invitational (11.04 seconds). The 32-year-old Jeter currently holds the second fastest time ever run in the women’s event and three of the top 10 fastest times.

The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nomination and ballot voting processes. Visit the Academy website at www.ussa.edu to submit your nominations each month, and then return to the website between the first day and second Tuesday of each month to vote on the male and female Athletes of the Month. The votes along with the Academy’s selection committee choose the winners and they are announced on the Academy’s website and in the online edition of The Sport Update.

Finishing second in the men’s category was Didier Drogba, a soccer star from the Ivory Coast. The Chelsea striker led his team’s unlikely comeback victory in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on May 19. Drogba scored the tying goal with two minutes to go in the game and then added the winner on the final penalty kick of the 4-3 shootout. Drogba soared high from a corner to head home the equalizer at 1-1 and then in extra time, the 34-year-old slid home the winner to give Chelsea its first Champions League title.


The runner-up to Jeter on the women’s ballot was University of Oklahoma ace Keilani Ricketts, who was named the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year by the Amateur Softball Association. Ricketts earned the honor by leading the Sooners both in pitching and hitting. The junior pitcher, who led her team to the Women’s College World Series finals where Oklahoma finished second to Alabama, posted a 37-9 record with 457 strikeouts and an earned run average of 1.08. At the plate, Ricketts hit for a .395 average and had 17 home runs and 49 runs batted in.

Third place winners for May were Miami Heat forward LeBron James, who earned the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player award for the third time in four seasons, and Irish boxing superstar Katie Taylor, who won her fourth consecutive World Championship gold medal in the  lightweight division at the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.

The winners of the Academy’s male and female Athletes of the Month will be considered as candidates for the 2012 Athlete of the Year ballot. In December 2012, the Academy will name the male and female Athlete of the Year for the 28th consecutive year.  The recipients of this prestigious award are selected annually through worldwide online balloting hosted by the Academy in conjunction with USA Today and NBC Sports.

In 2011, the Male Athlete of the Year was No. 1-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic of Serbia and the Female Athlete of the Year was No. 1-ranked golfer Yani Tseng of Taiwan. Both of them dominated 2011’s ballot that drew as many as 50,000 votes a day from across the world.

Indy 500 Art Show Leads to Donation of Painting to Academy’s Museum by Greek Artist

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Following an exhibit honoring the Indianapolis 500, Greek artist Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki recently donated a painting of a blue and yellow Formula 1 race car to the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA).

It is the sixth auto racing piece in ASAMA’s collection of nearly 20 pieces by Valyraki, who was named the museum’s 2002 Sport Artist of the Year.

The colorful and large 6-foot by 5-foot painting will go on display temporarily in the sport art museum’s lobby. A bulk of her dynamic abstract expressionist works currently can be found in the Main Gallery at ASAMA, which is a division of the United States Sports Academy and has arguably the largest collection of sport art in the world.

2002 Sport Artist of the Year Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki donated, "F1 Blue-Yellow," to ASAMA.

Valyraki, who is the official artist for Lamborghini, Ferrari and F1, says she wanted ASAMA to have a new racing piece to display, while 13 other paintings of hers are featured at the National Art Museum of Sport exhibit “Speed and Motion: Racing to the Finish Line” in Indianapolis. The show opened during the week of the running of the Indy 500 in May and concludes in September.

“I think it’s good to exhibit a painting like this at the Academy’s museum,” Valyraki says. “It’s an opportunity to increase exposure to my art in the United States. I greatly appreciate the support of both ASAMA and NAMOS during this period.”

The NAMOS exhibit features more than 30 artworks by seven different artists. Valyraki’s exciting works that exude speed, energy and light are highlighted in the exhibit with a whole gallery at the museum dedicated to her Formula 1 and motocross paintings.

Jack Scharr, President, Fine Art Limited and an Academy Board of Trustees member, attended the opening night of the “Speed and Motion” exhibit at NAMOS.

“I thought the show was very well done and Valyraki’s artwork was indeed the stand out of the show,” Scharr says.

Papatheodorou-Valyraki's paintings for the Indy 500 exhibit at the National Art Museum of Sport.

NAMOS Executive Director Elizabeth Varner adds that the bright colors and energy in Valyraki’s work evoke her passion for auto racing.

“Her works embody raw speed,” Varner says. “They are energetic and dizzying. We were very pleased with the artwork for this exhibit.”

Valyraki is working to have the pieces go on display at other museums in the United States after the NAMOS show ends in September. Her works have garnered much public acclaim and been selected for many exhibitions, museums, and private collections around the world, including such venues as the Third Art Biennial of Beijing; the National Gallery in Athens; the Olympic Museum of Lausanne, Switzerland; the Lamborghini Museum in Santa Agata Bolognese, Italy; the UNESCO collection in Paris; and the Frascione Art Gallery in Florence, Italy.

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