Painter, Teacher, Filmmaker
Samuel Lawrence Feinstein was born in
February 7, 1915
and came through
with his family five years later. He was raised in
and graduated with honors in 1936 from Philadelphia Museum College of Art where he later taught. At the age of 19, Feinstein was awarded his first one-man show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he eventually became Supervisor of Classes, and his work became part of their permanent collection.
During WWII, Feinstein served as artist for the army, and there he expanded his experience into filmmaking. After the war, he became Art and Animation Director for documentary films and taught at Pratt Institute.
From 1949 to 1952, Feinstein studied with Hans Hofmann in
, an experience that led to the creation of a documentary film titled “Hans Hofmann”, co-written with Hofmann, filmed, edited and produced by Sam Feinstein and previewed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in
New York City
. Two of Feinstein’s drawings as Hofmann’s student were acquired by MMA and shown in conjunction with Hofmann’s work. Feinstein was Contributing Editor for Art Digest Magazine from 1952 to 1955. At Hofmann’s request, Feinstein wrote an appraisal of Hofmann’s work, preface to a show, which the dealer Sam Kootz later referred to as “prophetic.” When Hofmann ceased teaching, he approached Feinstein about continuing the classes, but Feinstein had already established his own painting workshops which continued for over 50 years in
. In 1952 Hofmann wrote “Mr. Feinstein is a highly gifted and versatile artist with a pronounced standing of his own…and with a deep understanding of the plastic problems in painting.”
After exhibiting in
from the 1930s through the 1950s, Feinstein ceased showing his paintings and withdrew from the commercial aspects of art. He continued to paint and teach privately until he died on
June 10, 2003
at the age of 88. Feinstein left a legacy of astoundingly beautiful and moving canvases and works on paper, many developed over a period of years.
Sam Feinstein is an American artist whose work is a significant part of our cultural history. Limited in its exposure during the last half of his life, Feinstein’s work is under-recognized, but a valuable treasure that must not be lost. A retrospective and catalogue is scheduled for the summer of 2008 at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in
. As other venues for exhibitions are secured, further announcements will be posted.