Painting ‘ ‘A stubborn necessity’

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Painting ‘ ‘A stubborn necessity,’ a gallery talk with Patricia Stark Feinstein, guest curator of Sam Feinstein: Evolution of a Vision, on Saturday, October 15 at 10:00 a.m. This program is free with Museum admission. Space is limited. To make a reservation or for more information, please call Jeanette Smith at 978-283-0455, x11 or email

Patricia Stark Feinstein is a painter, teacher, independent curator, lecturer and former faculty member at Riverdale Country School in New York City where she taught art and art history for twenty-two years. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in studio art and art history, she attended Sam Feinstein’s classes on Cape Cod briefly in the mid-1960s, in Philadelphia in the mid-1970s and in New York in the 1980s. They were married in 1985, and between 1984 and 2000 co-taught annual painting workshops in Toronto, Canada. Ms. Stark Feinstein is now cataloguing, conserving and exhibiting the art of her late husband. She is the guest curator of Sam Feinstein: Evolution of a Vision, on display now through November 6, 2011 at the Cape Ann Museum. Her gallery talk is offered in conjunction with this special exhibition.

Artist Sam Feinstein first came to Gloucester in the summer of 1946, inspired by the work of such artists as Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, Stuart Davis and Hans Hofmann. Over the next three years, he returned each summer, escaping the stress of his weekly commute between Philadelphia, where he taught, and New York City where he worked as an art director for films. According to guest curator Patricia Feinstein, these weeks spent on Rocky Neck turned out to be a critical period of exploration and growth in his development as an artist. It is here that we see the evolution of his vision. Originally trained as a commercial artist and a skilled realist painter, he approached the creative process now as research, influenced by Cezanne and analytical cubism, restructuring forms and space into dynamic, new compositions. These experiments provided a foundation for the structure and gestures of his later paintings. Sam also expanded his use of color, working on site in watercolor and casein (a tempera-like paint) accented with vibrant notes of pastel. The exact hue, which he referred to as “a unit of pictorial energy,” became an essential element in his abstract paintings. Sam’s aim in painting-whether harbor scenes from the actual world or his later abstract art-was to create a parallel to nature’s vibrant energy, “a visual symbol that re-creates nature’s spirit.”

Funding for this program was made possible through a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Museum is closed during the month of February, on Mondays, and on major holidays. Admission is $8.00 adults, $6.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Children under 12 and Museum members are free. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information please call: (978) 283-0455. Additional information can be found online at