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Samuel L MARGOLIES

Samuel L. Margolies was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1897 and studied in New York at the Cooper Union Art School and the National Academy of Design.  As most artists of this time, he began by exhibiting paintings.  The duality of subjects in his oeuvre, which would endure, is quite marked from the very beginning of his oeuvre.  On the one hand Margolies liked to depict the city of New York.  Skyscrapers seen from high above or looking up at dizzying vertical lines, loom large.  On the other hand, Margolies seems to have enjoyed the country, and peaceful landscapes, away from the bustle.  In these compositions, snow mounds and birch trees make frequent appearances. During the Great Depression in the 1930s many artists turned their attention to printmaking in order to reach a wider audience.  Margolies turned to etching at that time and never looked back.  In 1935 he joined the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and taught in its Art Teaching Division. He was also active with the Society of American Etchers and the Queensboro Society of Allied Arts and Crafts in Brooklyn. His etchings were sometimes published by, and often sold through Associated American Artists (AAA).  He was a master in the technique of aquatint, achieving extremely fine and supply modulated grayscales.  His mastery of atmospheric renditions is unequaled in intaglio of that time.  While his views of cities command high prices, his countryside renditions remain ridiculously affordable.  He died in Fort Pierce, Florida in 1974.

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