Although primarily known for his drypoint etchings, Sam Thal was also an accomplished painter, illustrator, architectural sculptor and art educator. Born of Russian immigrant parents in New York City in 1903, Thal spent his childhood in Hadlyme, Connecticut, where his parents owned a large farm and poultry processing plant. When his family returned to New York City, he began his art studies with three years of drawing classes at the National Academy of Design (beginning at age twelve), three years of sculpture classes at the Beaux Arts Academy and two years of study at the Art Students League.
At age twenty, Thal and his family relocated to Boston where he remained for the balance of his life. There,
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