Biography: The son of Sicilian immigrants, Calapai was raised in Boston and attended the Massachusetts Normal Art School and the School of Fine Arts and Crafts. After a devastating fire destroyed his studio, Calapai relocated to New York, He took classes at the Art Students League and worked at a lithographic firm. He had his first solo show at Montross Gallery in 1934. In the 1930s he worked primarily in a realist style, but in 1946 he began to explore abstraction in his prints, when he was exposed to Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17. He founded and chaired the Graphic Arts Department of the Albright Art School in Buffalo, NY (1949-1955), then taught art at the New School for Social Research (1955-1965). He also established the Intaglio Workshop for Advanced Printmaking in New York (1962-65) and worked at numerous other colleges and universities.