Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Sam Stetson was declared a prodigy and was sent to study at the Chicago Art Institute at the age of 15, becoming a teacher there at the age of just 18. He went on to study with Andre Lhote and Fernand Leger, in Paris, The Bauhaus in Germany, Hans Hoffman, in both California and New York, David Karfunkel, in New York, and Samuel Marcus Adler at NYU, New York.
He would also continue teaching, and offered scholarships for young artists to study with him in his Greenwich Village studio. The scholarships were promoted in The Villager newspaper, and the artist was quoted as saying, now that he had “arrived somewhat” he would like to give something back from what he had gained.
Stetson also supported himself as an illustrator, poster designer and portraitist, working for several major Hollywood studios to paint portraits of the stars. He was a friend and admirer of Henry Botkin, whom he knew from his time in Provincetown and Carl Ashby, whose New York studio was nearby and who also worked and spent time in Provincetown in the early 1960s.
His work is held by museums in Houston, Dallas, Mexico City and in Europe. His studio, where he also taught was “Studio Workshop 199” which was located at 199 Second Avenue in New York.
Suffering ill health, Stetson put his paintings into storage in 1983, where they remained until his death in 1990 when the entire collection of more than 250 pieces (watercolors and oils) sold to Erwin and Faye Stern of the Collectors Art Gallery in Miami. The estate has remained largely intact since 1991.
Solo and Group Exhibitions:
Karilon Gallery , Provincetown;
Provincetown Art Associations;
New Canaan Connecticut Art Association;
Greer Galleries, New York
Salmagundi Club; New York
Bezalel; Jerusalem, Israel
The Collector’s Art Gallery; Miami, Florida
American Show; Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
Information courtesy of Fusco & Four