Herb Simeone: AMERICAN CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL CHESS SET
Herb Simeone had so many incarnations, so many interests that he pursued with bountiful energy; that he seemed like eight people all rolled into one stout, blue-eyed, muscular package. Painting was always a constant. Portraits of nature, birds; especially raptors. His focus on birds of prey evolved-not surprisingly-from his service as an Air Force Pilot during the Vietnam Conflict. He was fascinated by the grace with which the birds were able to fly.
He was a self-taught painter and drew much of his early inspiration from the photographs in National Geographic Magazine. Mr. Simeone was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised by his grandmother, who taught him to speak Greek and how to cook. He graduated from New York University with a degree in Math and a Lieutenant’s commission in the Air Force. Upon his return to the United States from Vietnam he lost his first wife to leukemia. He left Brooklyn for Babylon where he became a clam digger. While he was making a decent living as a clam digger; he read an article about the seven places in the U.S. where a person could still drink the water directly out of a stream and he was sold. He headed off to Idaho to live on “The Mountain” in 1971. The artist was prolific – more than 700 paintings in 30 years.
In 1989 the flying, clam digging, artist returned to Brooklyn to care for his elderly grandmother. There he met his second wife, Barbara. Her work took the couple to Switzerland then to Cambodia where he painted and practiced his culinary art. He opened an Italian restaurant in Phnom Penh called Happy Herb’s Pizza. Upon his return to the United States he gave the restaurant to his Cambodian protégés. He returned to New York where he lived out his life on Long Island.
Mr. Simeone’s daughter, Kathi Sedel, lives here in Virginia Beach and has graciously Donated to us Herb’s originals to sell or display in our gallery this year. Along with a Beautiful heirloom civil war chess set.