Ubaldo Vitali, MacArthur Genius

Photo from the MacArthur Foundation video.

A 67-year-old Maplewood silversmith and conservator, Ubaldo Vitali, is part of the newest class of MacArthur Fellows, set to receive $500,000 with absolutely no strings attached.

A fourth-generation silversmith from Rome, Vitali has a studio at 188 Hilton Ave. in Maplewood, where he creates modern silver objects using traditional tools in an open fireplace. His residence is in Glen Ridge.

Learn more about him in this MacArthur Foundation video.

Congrats Ubaldo.

And non-geniuses among us (or perhaps future ones) tell us: what would you do with a half a mill, no-strings-attached grant?

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  1. Ubaldo Vitali is a national treasure. Very few – even his neighbors – know of his work, and yet he is recognized around the world as the absolute master of his craft.

    If the silver inkwell used to sign the Declaration of Independence was in need of repair or restoration, he would undoubted be charged with the task. If a Papal chalice were dented in the Vatican, he might be called in to consult on its restoration. If Paul Revere’s personal tankard were vandalized in a Boston Museum, and smashed beyond recognition, he would be the only person trusted with the task of bringing that historic object back from the dead.

    You may not know of him, but every major museum and collector in the world most assuredly does. To Glen Ridge’s own: Mr Vitali, we salute you! Congratulations.

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