Samuel Smith, Southwest Painter

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Albuquerque, New Mexico artist Sam Samuel Smith was known for his Western Landscapes and Southwest Scenes in his paintings.

A more unique success story could not have been made up. Samuel Smith, a high school dropout went on to become a famous artist, and rose from working in the UNM art department, to full time professor, despite not having a high school diploma or college degree. Smith had moved to Albuquerque with his family at the age of 7 years. He dropped out of Albuquerque High School at the age of 13 years.

Samuel D. Smith (1918-1999) had studied with artists Randall Davey, Jack Levine, Ben Turner and Carl Von Hassler. During World War II, he documented combat scenes while on duty in West Africa and in the China-Burma-India Theater.

Smith and Wilson Hurley were close friends. Hurley said of Smith "Sam bloomed early. He was extremely prolific right at the end of the war...Sam had done a bunch of paintings of China and they were gorgeous... Everybody was excited with the work he was doing. He was friendly, telling me what he was trying to do and why. I was like a little brother."

Smith and about 30 other combat artists were honored in 1995 in Washington, D.C. on the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. The three-day show of their work was titled "Eyewitness to History-Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines Paint World War II."

Biographical Source: unknown.

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Relative Links: AlbuquerqueBen TurnerCarl Von HasslerWilson HurleyEuro/Latin American Fine Art PaintingsAnglo-Euro (non-Native) American