Funaro was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.; undergraduate degree in biology (entomology), Cornell University, 1923; later taught foreign languages, mainly in high schools. Doctorate, Columbia University, 1958; dissertation on "The Gitano in Spanish Literature." De Wendler-Funaro was an avid amateur collector of insects, shells, minerals, stamps and coins. His interest in Gypsies focused on collection of language specimens, and photography. Apparently served as amanuensis to Steve Kaslov, a Rom Gypsy leader.
Print and manuscript materials, photoprints and negatives, either created by de Wendler-Funaro or collected by him. Manuscripts include de Wendler-Funaro's dissertation, drafts of projected books, drafts of projected book dictated by Steve Kaslov. Print materials include those used by de Wendler-Funaro in his dissertation research, and newspaper articles, 1912-1974. Photographs include those taken by de Wendler-Funaro of Gypsies in the United States and Europe, 1922-1966, primarily 1937-1942. Photographs collected from Rom Gypsy families and commercial photographs, mainly of Gypsies in Europe, are also included.
An important aspect of the photographer's work and of the value of this collection is the emphasis on the ethnic diversity of Gypsy groups, countering the inaccurate notion that all Gypsies or all American Gypsies are a homogeneous group--the Rom or Roma. The collection demonstrates ethnic and cultural distinctions among the various Gypsies represented, such as the Rom, Ludar, Romnichels, etc.
See review of the film, "American Gypsy: A Stranger in Everybody's Land," by Matt T. Salo in American Anthropologist, Vol. 102, No. 2, June 2000, pp. 353-354
Smithsonian educational web site, part of "Migrations in History," at http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/migrations/gyp/cdwf.html
Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History