Meet the Samstags: Artists and Benefactors
Friday 14 October – Friday 9 December 2016
The American artist Gordon Samstag famously made one of the great cultural bequests benefitting the arts in this country, enabling large numbers of Australian visual artists to develop their skills and abilities internationally. But who were the Samstags? Anne and Gordon Samstag both enjoyed early artistic success in America; Gordon as a successful painter of the American Scene and ‘New Deal’muralist, and Anne as an accomplished textile artist. Married in Manhattan in 1933, they came to Australia in 1961 and stayed for 16 years. Gordon taught from 1961 to 1970 at the South Australian School of Art; after living in Cairns, Queensland, for a time, the Samstags retired to America. The Samstag Bequest was their generous gift back to Australia.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Samstag Scholarships, Meet the Samstags: Artists and Benefactors showcases the artistic talents of Anne and Gordon Samstag with many treasures from the Samstag Legacy Research Archive. Importantly, the exhibition also complements The Samstag Legacy: An Artist’s Bequest, a major scholarly biography of Anne and Gordon Samstag, published by the Samstag Museum of Art, that illuminates the enigmatic people behind the Samstag Legacy, and celebrates the significance of their historic bequest.
The Samstag Legacy:An Artist’s Bequest is proudly published by the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art for the University of South Australia’s 25th birthday celebrations and the 25th anniversary of the Samstag Scholarships. This groundbreaking book charts the lives and careers of Anne and Gordon Samstag, and their sixteen years of living and working in Australia and eventual return to America.Who were the enigmatic Samstags? Intensely private, each boasting rich ancestral family trees, philanthropy was in their blood. This is their story.
Meet the Samstags: Artists and Benefactors exhibition and the publication The Samstag Legacy: An Artist’s Bequest have both been developed by the Samstag Museum of Art for the University of South Australia’s 25th birthday celebrations with assistance from the Vice Chancellor’s Development Fund and Gordon Samstag’s Trustee, US Trust, Bank of America, USA.
LISTEN: Erica Green and Ross Wolfe on 891 ABC Adelaide Evenings with Peter Goers