Engraver, painter, sculptor, illustrator, writer and designer, Valenti Angelo was born in Massarosa, Italy. Encouraged by the village wood carver, Angelo became interested in drawing at an early age. In 1905 he was brought to America where he lived on New York’s Bleecker Street, for a time, before his family moved on to California.
At the age of nineteen, Angelo moved to San Francisco, working by day as a laborer and haunting the libraries and museums during his free nights and weekends. In 1926 Angelo made his first book illustrations for the now famous, San Francisco based, Grabhorn Press. In a span of thirty-four years he decorated and illustrated some two hundred and fifty books, both contemporary and classic. Among these works are the folio edition of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”, “The Voyages and Travels of Maundiville” and numerous books from the Bible. Thirty-seven of these books have been included in the annual American Institute of Graphic Arts exhibitions since 1927.
Through the guidance of May Massee of Viking Press, Angelo began writing children’s stories in 1937. Subsequently, Viking Press published a number of Angelo’s books, including “Paradise Valley”, “The Rooster Club”, “The Bells of Bleecker Street” and “The Marble Fountain”, among others.