Born in Pueblo, Colorado (1939), Roberto has a BA in Mathematics and Philosophy earned while a Benedictine monk (1963), an MA in Art from the University of Northern Colorado (1965), and a Doctorate in Art Education from Arizona State University (1977). He has been a professor of art at the University of Northern Colorado, Ohio State University, University of Arizona, and Boston University (where he was Director of the Program in Artisanry). He has been president of the San Antonio Art Institute and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. As an academic, in addition to his doctoral dissertation on the aesthetics of the motion picture, he published over 40 articles on aesthetics, art history, art education and art criticism. He also directed an oral history conference at the Smithsonian Institution on Post WW II American Metal smithing, co-directed two national metal exhibitions at the University of Arizona Museum of Art and wrote the catalogues for the exhibitions.
Working almost exclusively with ecclesiastical structures since 1986, he has become known for wooden sculptures of churches. The church form speaks to his love of ecclesiastical architecture and springs from his monastic background and southwestern travels. The churches, built of pine or cedar and richly painted and patinated, range from 12 inches to 7 feet in height.
Roberto Cardinale’s sculptures have been shown at the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Art of the University of Arizona in Tucson, the Federal Reserve Bank Gallery in Boston, the Columbus Museum of Fine Arts, Columbus, OH, Ohio State University, SITE Santa Fe, and the Center For Contemporary Art, both in Santa Fe, NM, and are in the permanent collections of the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Pueblo, CO, the Museum of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM, The Billy Graham Museum of Art, Wheaton, IL. the Benedictine Museum of Art, Lyle, IL. and The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, Albuquerque, NM.
Cardinale has done commissions of churches, towers and synagogues from New Mexico, Arizona, California, Texas as well as from Italy, Spain, France, England, Greece, and Mexico.
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