The American Visionary Arts Museum posted an article today about Sam Steinberg, a self-taught artist who sold candy and paintings outside of Columbia University’s student center. He lived from 1896-1982 and was only honored in depth 14 years after his death in Folk Art Magazine in 1996. Known for drawing iconic figures in markers and paints on cardboard and illustration board, Sam Steinberg sold his “Sams” as they were affectionately known by Columbia students for less than $2 at first and then $5-$10 as they gained popularity.
Recently, a 1975 class reunion brought the “Sams” back to the public spotlight and showed them to a crowd of 150. After the gathering, the paintings were stored and had been intended to be sent back to their owners but tragically they were mistaken for trash as so many of his earlier works were.
As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but it seems so obvious that someone who spent so much of their time creating and loving the work they made (Sam once said that his art rivaled that of Picasso’s) is the true artist in our society. I love when an Innisfree artist takes pride in their work and regardless of its visual appeal to the public, its worth is exponentially increased by the love and care poured into each and every piece.
Link to the article:
See Sam Steinberg’s work here: