Capelli d'Angeli Foundation

Our Story

Capelli d’Angeli Foundation was established in 2004 by Marcia Reid Marsted and her family to publish a new edition of her book, About My Hair: A Journey To Recovery, making it more readily available to hospitals, cancer centers, libraries and, most important, to cancer patients and their families.

In 1998, while preparing for an exhibit of her Polaroid Transfer images, having already survived a battle with rectal cancer a decade earlier, Marcia Reid Marsted was diagnosed and had emergency surgery for uterine (endometrial) cancer. Facing "heavy-duty chemotherapy," she turned her camera's lens on herself, documenting the loss and gradual (it felt pretty slow while she was waiting for it to appear) regrowth of her hair. The result was the publication in 2002 of her first book, "About My Hair: A Journey to Recovery," which has inspired cancer patients facing chemotherapy and other cancer treatment, as well as their families and supporters, with its empathetic and insightful text and remarkable self-portraits. 

The main focus of the book is as much about a way of thinking and seeing the world as it is about a type of cancer. Marcia found recently, after being in a near-fatal car accident that she could use her art in any situation to keep focused on something positive - her art - and move away from feeling sorry for herself. 

In 2004 the Foundation gave a number of framed images from the book, as well as a group of framed large-format images from Marcia’s Iceland Series to the UConn Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, for the enjoyment of patients and medical staff. They have been placed in the treatment rooms and halls.

In 2005, with the support and assistance of Kathy Cockroft, Director of the Canton Public Library, and her able staff, the Foundation donated copies of About My Hair: A Journey To To Recovery to every public library in Connecticut. Efforts are underway to make the book available to cancer patients through appropriate medical and social work professionals and volunteers throughout the State. This same network, as well as the Internet, will be used to publicize the availability of grants for women artists/patients who wish to use their artistic skills as part of the healing process and need assistance in doing so.

The Foundation celebrated its launching with a party at the Town & County Club in Hartford in May 2005. We were able to raise more than $7,000 from wonderful supporters to grow beyond the book and begin helping women artists with cancer. That night we awarded the first Capelli d’Angeli Foundation Grant for a Woman Artist With Cancer, a check for $500, to Susan Bradley, President of the Gallery on the Green in Canton. Susan’s art was instrumental in helping her through her cancer. Her work touches all who see it. Some of Susan’s images are viewable in our gallery.

Since Capelli d'Angeli Foundation awarded the first grant in 2005, we have awarded over 50 more grants to women who have used art to keep cancer in the background. Click here to see the artwork and read the moving stories of these Capelli Artists who have been empowered by the Foundation and personify the value of its mission.