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 Paul Starrett Sample  (1896 - 1974)

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Lived/Active: New Hampshire/California/Vermont      Known for: landscape, genre and still-life painter, art educator

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Ad Code: 2
Paul Starrett Sample
from Auction House Records.
Good Farming--Good Living
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Paul Sample established his reputation as a Regionalist landscape, figure and genre painter, particularly of New England subject matter.

He was raised in the Midwest and attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where reportedly he slept through art appreciation courses because he was much more interested in sports and music.

He served in World War I in the Navy, and returned to graduate from Dartmouth. Shortly afterwards, he got tuberculosis, which led him to art because it was a more sedentary activity than his previous pursuits.

In 1925, he moved to California and enrolled at the Otis Art Institute where his teacher was Jonas Lie, and he took private lessons from Stanton MacDonald-Wright and Frank Tolles Chamberlin.  By 1926, he was a faculty member at the University of Southern California, where he then chaired the art department.  His quick acceptance launched his career; he spent his summers painting in Maine and Vermont.

During this time, he developed his unique style inspired by the Dutch master Pieter Bruegel the Elder and by influences of the American-Depression art movement called "Regionalism," an affirmation of American life.

In 1938, he moved permanently to New England and became artist-in- residence at Dartmouth College.  He lived with his wife and son in Norwich, Vermont, while maintaining his studio in Hanover, New Hampshire.  In 1940, he was elected to the National Academy of Design, where he had already won many exhibition prizes, and major museums and collectors obtained his work.

During World War II, he also did illustrating of naval activities for Life magazine.  After the War and until he retired in 1962, he did numerous New England landscapes as well as murals, portraits, and illustration ads.

Edan Hughes, Artists in California 1786-1940
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
McClelland and Jay Last, The California Style

Biography from The Caldwell Gallery - IV:
Paul Starrett Sample was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1894, but spent his youth living with his family in practically every section of the country.  He studied at Dartmouth College, where he was an outstanding athlete, particularly a boxer, and a good saxophonist.  He spent the last year of World War I in the Navy and returned to Dartmouth to graduate.  Soon afterward, he developed tuberculosis and spent the next four years at a sanitarium in the Adirondack Mountains, where he settled on a painting career.  When he regained his health, he studied art with Jonas Lie in 1923.

From 1926 to 1938, Sample was on the art faculty of the University of Southern California.  In 1938 he was appointed artist-in-residence at Dartmouth College, and he remained there until his retirement in 1962.  In the early 1940's, Sample was recognized by Life magazine as one of the foremost painters in America, and his work was profiled in Art News, Esquire, Country Gentleman, and American Artist.

Sample worked in a regionalist style, with life in rural New England, especially Vermont, dominating his oeuvre.  During his career, Sample exhibited with Feragil Galleries and then Associated American Artists and Vose Galleries in Boston.  He also exhibited frequently at the National Academy, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the Carnegie Institute, and the Worcester Museum.  He had many other successful solo and group shows during his long career.

Paul Sample died at his home in Norwich, Vermont in 1974.

Biography from California Watercolor:
Paul Sample, N.A. (1896-1974)  Born: Louisville, KY; Studied: Dartmouth College, Otis Art Institute (Los Angeles); Member: National Academy of Design, American Watercolor Society, California Water Color Society.

Paul Sample attended Dartmouth before serving in the United States Navy in World War I. He studied art in New York with Jonas Lie for four years.  In 1925, he moved to Los Angeles and became an art instructor at the University of Southern California for the next ten years.

Throughout this period he was part of the small group of artists that developed the California Style of watercolor painting.  He often chose to paint busy cityscape scenes which often included local people in their everyday environment. T hese watercolors were shown in the California Group traveling exhibitions and in Los Angeles and New York.

In the later 1930s, Sample traveled to Europe and then moved to the eastern United States where he became the Artist-in-Residence at Dartmouth College.  During World War II, he was an artist-correspondent for Life magazine.  He then resumed his teaching position at Dartmouth, and continued to produce watercolors and oil paintings which were exhibited in New York and California.

Biographical information:
Paul Sample, Painter of the American Scene.

Biography courtesy of California Watercolors 1850-1970,
2002 Hillcrest Press, Inc.

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Beverly Hills:
Paul Sample was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1896.  Following service in WW I he attended Dartmouth College.  Sample found his interest in art during a lengthy recuperation from tuberculosis, studying with Jonas Lie.

In 1926, he moved to California, spending 10 years teaching at the University of Southern California.  Sample returned to a teaching post at Dartmouth in 1938, and retired in 1962.  He is best remembered for his 1930's WPA-style Social Realist paintings.

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