Sara Plishner Provan was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1917. She began painting as a child, a passion she pursued in her hometown at Julia Richman High School, Textile High School, the National Academy, the Art Students League, and Columbia University. While at Columbia she studied with Peppino Mangravite, who encouraged her to apply to the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, from which she received a certificate with distinction in painting in 1938.*
Following graduation Sara was admitted to the Black Mountain College in Asheville, NC. But, because her father's food business collapsed during the Depression, Sara had to turn down this invitation in order to work and contribute to her family's income.
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