Edward Runci

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Edward Runci (July 4, 1921 - July 12, 1986) was an oil painter and a calendar pin-up artist. He also did commercial artwork for companies such as Coca-Cola.

Runci was born in Genoa, Italy. With his mother's encouragement, he began drawing at a young age. In 1930 the family immigrated to the Unted States and settled in Pennsylvania, where he gained recognition for his works through contests and scholarships. He joined the Marine Corps in 1937. It was around this time that he met Maxine Sunderman, whom he married in 1943. With his first gallery opening in 1945, Runci settled in southern California and became the portrait artist of Hollywood stars. It was in the late 1940s that he became known for his pin-ups and calendar work, in which he favored Marilyn Monroe-type women with heavy lipgloss.[1] Kern Collectibles commissioned Runci to do paintings in 1977[2] and 1978[3] for collector plates commemorating Mother's Day.

Edward Runci was a portrait artist for Gerald L.K. Smith. The Smith portrait was once placed on display at the Smithsonian Institute depicting candidates for President of the United States.[4] Sara and Harold Lincoln Thompson, for whom the Sara and Harold Lincoln Thompson Executive Vice Chair, Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago is named, also sat for Runci.

His wife Maxine Runci frequently served as a model, and was an artist in her own right.[5] Cristina Acosta received instruction from the couple in her youth.[5]



  1. Thompson Travel Artifacts and Ethnic Arts see "Note on the portrait artist." The University of Iowa Libraries. Accessed June 29, 2014.
  2. Darcy collector plate by Edward Runci Allen's Collectibles and Gifts. Accessed June 29, 2014.
  3. Moment To Reflect collector plate by Edward Runci Allen's Collectibles and Gifts. Accessed June 29, 2014.
  4. Besieged Patriot by Gerald L.K. Smith, page 35
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cristina Acosta. About Cristina: Inspired by Edward and Maxine Runci Cristina Acosta.com. Accessed June 29, 2014.

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