Concetta Scaravaglione was born in New York City in 1900, the youngest of nine children. She enrolled at the National Academy of Design when she was sixteen, working in a perfume factory during the day to support herself. She won a scholarship to the Art Students League and later was the first woman to win the Prix de Rome from the American Academy in Italy. During the 1930s, Scaravaglione was employed by the Works Progress Administration and created sculptures and murals for post offices, the Federal Trade Commission, and the 1939 New York World’s Fair. She used a wide variety of materials, including wood, terra-cotta, and bronze, and was one of the first artists to experiment with welded metal.