Anthony J. Sisti (1901-1983), Circus, 1934; oil on canvas, Overall: 59 1/2 x 72 in. (151.1 x 182.9 cm) Frame: 66 1/4 x 78 1/4 in. (168.3 x 198.8 cm); Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Tony Sisti, 1979
Tony Sisti: A Forgotten Regionalist
Selections from the Collection
On View Saturday, April 11–Sunday, August 2, 2009
Over a long career, Anthony J. Sisti (1901-1983) played a major role in the Buffalo art scene. Known more familiarly as Tony, he was a painter, collector and patron of the arts. His eponymous gallery on Franklin Street held many exhibitions of local and international artists from 1938 to his death in 1983. Sisti was a classically trained artist who had some success as a portrait painter and painter of the regional scene. He had at least 3 exhibits in New York City and showed frequently in Buffalo. He was a friend and colleague of Charles Burchfield as they were neighbors for several years. In 1979 Sisti made a major gift to the Burchfield Center which included 26 paintings and drawings by Burchfield and 32 of Sisti's own works.
Sisti was also a successful boxer and at one time was the New York State bantamweight champion. He once returned to prize fighting to finance an exhibit of his work in New York City. This was the first large exhibition of the museum’s holdings his work since the 1979 gift. It was curated by Dr. Albert L. Michaels.