Xavier de Callataÿ

A Belgian baron who lived in the United States for much of his adult life, Xavier de Callataÿ was primarily a visual artist, painting portraits and landscapes. His creative writing was part of the journal entries that accompanied his painting projects.

Photo: Xavier de Callataÿ, photograph from the painter's website: http://xavierdecallatay.com.

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    Xavier de Callataÿ was an influential painter in the New Orleans scene in the 1950s-70s, teaching at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts and painting portraits of jazz musicians from Preservation Hall. In the late 1970s, he moved to New York City, later becoming the Director of Studies at the New York Graduate School of Figurative Art from 1982 to 1990. De Callataÿ was born into the Belgium noble family and had the title of baron. He initially studied metallurgical engineering as a young man living in Belgium and came to the United States to work on rockets. While raising money to leave his metal working job, he found his talent for painting by selling portraits to his friends. His paintings have a home in many private collections, while others are owned by the following public collections: Tulane University, the Union League Club of New York City, the Chester Dale Collection in Washington, D.C., and the Palais de la Nation in Brussels. In addition to painting, De Callataÿ published a small selection of journal entries on his official website that chronicle his thoughts and musings while working on specific paintings.

    Bethany Worrell

    This profile was created in 2021 as part of The Savvy Singer, an EXCEL Lab course at the University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and a collaboration with the Hampsong Foundation via the Classic Song Research Initiative.



    “Bio.” Xavier de Callataÿ. Accessed November 29, 2021. http://xavierdecallatay.com/files/Artist/Bio.html

    “Xavier de Callataÿ.” Association familiale Callataÿ. Accessed November 29, 2021. http://www.callatay.be/xavier/

    “Xavier de Callataÿ Biography.” The Annex Galleries. Accessed November 30, 2021. https://www.annexgalleries.com/artists/biography/4445/de%20Callatay/Xavier

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