Paul Starrett Sample (1896 - 1974)
Unloading Bananas, New Orleans, n.d.
Watercolor on paper
10 1/2 x 14 1/8 inches (sight)
Signed on the reverse in pencil ( below inscription): Paul Sample
Inscribed on the reverse in pencil: New Orleans - checking in bunches of / bananas as they come off of United Fruit / Ship. Bananas are being unloaded by means / of the conveyor & pass from that to travelling / belts past checkers
William Thon style frame
Paul Starrett Sample was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1894, and went to Dartmouth College, where he is said to have slept through art appreciation courses, in preference for the sporting life, boxing in particular. Sample served in the Merchant Marines during World War I, although he suffered tuberculosis after he returned home. Sample devoted himself to painting during his recuperation, and studied with Jonas Lie. After briefly studying painting in New York, Sample headed to California. There he studied at the Otis Institute and the Los Angeles Art Students League with Stanton MacDonald Wright and Frank Tolles Chamberlain.
By 1926, Sample began teaching painting at the University of Southern California. In December 1934, TIME magazine recognized him as one of the dozen foremost painters in America, a group that included Benton, Wood, and Curry. He was the subject of a feature article in LIFE magazine in 1937. In 1938, Sample returned to his alma mater, Dartmouth College, as artist-in-residence, and remained there until his retirement in 1962.
Sample painted with a robust, American Regionalist style, characterized by firmly defined figures and a no-nonsense sensibility. While Sample could no longer lead the sporting life of his youth, his paintings are often filled with sturdy, capable characters, drawn with palpable strength. 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.