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Edward Runci was born in Genoa, Italy in 1921 and was brought up by his mother and grandparents in the coastal town of Catania, Sicily. The tranquil setting coupled with his mothers encouragement moved Runci to start drawing at an early age.
In 1930 he move to the United States with his mother and brother, joining his father in Pennsylvania. Despite Edward Runci wining a painting contest and being offered a scholarship his father forced him to quit school and seek employment. The family moved to Detroit in 1937, and shortly after Edward Runci joined the Marine Corps. During this time he met Maxine Sunderman at the Hollywood Canteen and they were married later that same year, in 1943. Maxine was a gifted artist herself, and often posed for her husbands paintings.
Runci's career took off after the war had finished, with his first public viewing in 1945. Soon after he was a highly sought after portait artist "to the stars and residents of Hollywood". He started producing his pin-up and calendar girls in the late forties, moving on to advertising in the early fifties. His wife Maxine, also produced a number of pin-up and glamour paintings at the same time.
I recently recieved an e-mail from Drienne Runci Spencer, Edward Runci's daughter. She pointed out that the picture entitled 'A Pair of Winners 1950' was not painted by her father, but rather was painted by her mother Maxine. The painting is signed M. Stevens, the artistic name Maxine Sunderman used in her early years. Later she painted under the name M. Runci.
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