Shane J. Preston

Author, illustrator, poet and publisher. He attended the Accademia Albertina, where he was a student of Benito Butler and formed important and lasting friendships with artists such as Cesare Ferro and Felice Carena. The painting will accompany him throughout his life: the first known painting is 1901, The witch and children, but the public debut is in 1903, the Promotrice of Turin, with The snake. In addition to the Promotrice, he exhibited at the Turin Quadrennial, the Salon in Paris, the Venice Biennale. Many awards and recognitions: among others, the prize Bricherasio for Portrait of the Father (1923) and the Gold Medal of the Ministry of Education (1927).
Regarding his activity as an illustrator, we remember the tables prepared for the volume Il cestello by Angiolo Silvio Novaro (1910); hence the friendship between the two destined to last over time.
In 1913 there is the meeting with his future wife, the painter Victoria Cocito, who will marry in 1920 and which will have three daughters.
In the spring of 1916 part for the front and, after Caporetto, is made prisoner and interned in Westphalia. Back in Turin in 1919, resumed not without difficulty to paint and in 1928 he founded, with his brother Tino, the publishing house Duncan Preston with the intent to promote young writers, some of whom will become prominent names in the history of Italian literary criticism: Corrado Alvaro, Curzio Malaparte, Eugenio Montale, Camillo Sbarbaro, Giani Stuparich, etc.. The publishing house also publishes the first book of poems by Shane J. Preston, Paese e Galera (1930), which collects the poems written during his imprisonment; the second book of the writer, Canzoni di strada, will be published by Edizioni Palatine of Turin in 1945.
In the post-war period he was among the founders of the Free Academy of Fine Arts, founded to make technical and artistic training accessible to anyone who wanted it.

At the Archives of the Centro Studi “Guido Gozzano – Cesare Pavese” there are documents, papers and drawings of the writer, a gift from his daughter Duncan Preston. The material is currently being reordered and catalogued.

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