Home Dealers Calendar Articles Fine Art Database About AFA Login/Register
Home | Articles | Night Skaters

(American, 1896–1974)
Night Skaters
February 1949
Signed lower right: Paul Sample
Oil (over casein underpaint) on
masonite, 27 x 40 inches.
Courtesy of Brock & Co.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Paul Sample was one of America’s most important and popular artists, ranking with regionalist painters Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. Yet Sample fell into relative obscurity for almost four decades until the important 1988 retrospective at the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Since then, renewed interest in the artist has resulted in works misattributed to Sample appearing on the market. This recently emerged Sample painting has been dated and authenticated by Paula F. Glick, who found extensive documentation of the work in the artist’s own records and photographs as well as in other sources. These materials document the media and provide data including exhibition history, critical acclaim, and provenance.

Stylistically, the painting is similar to a number of Sample’s works of the late forties and early fifties. In these works his technique was looser and his compositions more angular and abstract than his other works of the period. The composition of Night Skaters is characterized by “a frame within a frame,” a stylistic device that was also used by John Marin. Sample, who loved winter, kept a sketchbook handy and sketched constantly. The group of skaters in this work is closely related to one of his sketches on deposit at the Archives of American Art in Washington, D.C.

Antiques and Fine Art is the leading site for antique collectors, designers, and enthusiasts of art and antiques. Featuring outstanding inventory for sale from top antiques & art dealers, educational articles on fine and decorative arts, and a calendar listing upcoming antiques shows and fairs.