Artist Feature: Louis Donato

May 4th 2017

Born in Falls Creek, Pennsylvania in 1910, Louis’s father Angelo was an immigrant Italian stone mason and sculptor who created elaborate tombstones and architectural ornamentation such as gargoyles. Working with his father and grandfather, Louis’s artistic talents and intellectual inclinations emerged at an early age. In 1932, Wendell August Forge was in need of an accomplished artist for a new line of aluminum art and giftwares. Wendell first went to Angelo, but he said his son Louis was more talented and they should consider him instead. Louis visited Wendell August Forge with a sample of his work, a bust of Julius Caesar sculpted in a bar of soap, and was hired immediately. Louis would be the Forge’s primary artist and master die engraver, until Wendell August Forge closed temporarily due to World War II restrictions on consumer use of aluminum.