Italian A Day – Joe Marvullo

Joe Marvullo in Pompeii in the 1970s

Joe Marvullo in Pompeii in the 1970s

By Diana Luchko, niece of Joe Marvullo

“Where there is light there is color and where there is color there is Joe Marvullo”
– Norma Quarles, CNN Arts Editor

Renowned photographer Joe Marvullo is widely recognized as a leader in the ever-changing realm of images and design. His styles were both highly charged with color dynamics in his well-concentrated studies of destinations and in his more subtle romantic atmospherics of moods with a feeling of place in exotic locales.

Born in the Bronx, in 1946 – the son of first generation Italian Americans Frank and Vincenza (Martini) Marvullo- Marvullo’s love of the arts began at a young age. He received a children’s art scholarship to the Museum of Modern Art and went on to attend The High School of Art and Design and then The Cooper Union, majority in Fine Art, all in New York City. He was awarded an Honorary Masters Degree in Science from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.

Former President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office with Joe Marvullo's painting, "Sax and Stripes."

Former President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office with Joe Marvullo’s painting, “Sax and Stripes.”

By his early twenties, Marvullo enjoyed a career as a jazz musician and as an art director for optics and imaging company, Nikon. While working for Nikon, Marvullo’s interest in photography was cultivated. Photographing the turbulent events and people of New York in the 1960s, Marvullo had found his forte and would go on to become an international photographer.

He became the President and CEO of Photomontage, and international multimedia and consulting firm to the photographic, digital, publishing and travel markets. For 30 years, he operated studios in New York City and Bucks County, Penn. Frequent visits to family in Bucks County gave way to a new chapter in his life and the big city photographer found himself choosing the peace and tranquility of life in Pennsylvania to spend his remaining years.

Joe Marvullo's "Sax and Stripes"

Joe Marvullo’s “Sax and Stripes”

Marvullo’s impressive resume could fill volumes, but a few achievements stand out among the rest:

  • In 1984, he published his first book, Improving Your Color Photography, and in 1989, published his second book, Color Vision.
  • He was the former Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director of the widely acclaimed breakthrough photojournalism magazine PhotoPro, as well as the chief consultant and promoter for PhotoProExpo, a photo/imaging fair held for several years in Washington, D.C.
  • One of Marvullo’s most noted photographs, “Sax and Stripes Forever,” was presented to President Bill Clinton and hung in the alcove to the Oval Office, during the Clinton Administration. Marvullo was also a special White House picture correspondent.
  • Marvullo was a contributing editor Archaeology Magazine, with a monthly photo column and feature called, “About Photography,” writing on sites around the world, from Guatemala to Jordan.
  • For 14 years, Marvullo taught a course, “Principles of Photography,” at the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, in New York City.
Joe Marvullo on the set of Mad Magazine in the 1960s

Joe Marvullo on the set of Mad Magazine in the 1960s

For more information on Marvullo’s life and to see more of his photographs, visit the Facebook page created in his memory by Luchko, at

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