Sam Feinstein: The Early Years Art Exhibition
Sam Feinstein Art
Sam Feinstein Art

Most Recent Barbara Crawford Gallery show

Sam Feinstein: The Early Years was an exhibition at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy that was on display from September 26, 2020 to Spring 2021 in conjunction with Group ’55, Midcentury Abstraction in Philadelphia, and Sam Feinstein: Immersive Abstraction at the Woodmere Art Museum

Painter, illustrator, filmmaker, and writer, Sam Feinstein was the Director of the Arts and taught at Chestnut Hill Academy from 1938-1942. The exhibition will feature his watercolors, oil paintings, and illustrations from the 1930s until the mid-1950s, showing his journey towards abstract expressionism—including the movie, Hans Hofmann, where Sam clearly explains Hofmann's artistic philosophy by capturing the artist immersed in the act of painting The Window, 1950Weekend art classes and opportunities to view both exhibits will be available.

This exhibition is made possible through the Samuel L. Feinstein Trust.


Sam Feinstein Art

The journey that led to this exhibition began in the Fall of 2018, when Patricia Stark Feinstein approached the school and generously offered to loan SCH a canvas by her late husband Sam Feinstein. Tasked with selecting an original Sam Feinstein piece, Ellen Fishman, Melissa Maddonni Haims and Pia Druggan set off to meet Pat at an arts storing facility in New York City. Surrounded by a vast collection of spectacular art from this first-generation abstract expressionist artist in America, Pat shared stories of Sam, his life, his years at Chestnut Hill Academy (CHA), the boys school at the time, and his marriage to Barbara Anne Crawford, who took over Sam’s role at CHA in 1942 and taught there for almost 50 years. On that fortuitous day, the Woodmere Art Museum team led by William Valerio was also present, and the idea of collaborating in a joint exhibition was discussed.

The Sam L. Feinstein Trust generously loaned us three beautiful and breathtaking abstract canvases, along with some of Sam's early figurative works, that currently adorn the walls of the McCausland Lower School at SCH. When one walks into the main entrance of the building, both Starry Night and Opposing Elements capture the eye of the observer with their bright colors of swirling blue, red and yellow hues. Upstairs in the Doran Hall, you cannot help but be mesmerized and immersed into the explosion of colors and light coming from the canvas Untitled, 1990-2002.

We are so fortunate in our partnership with the Woodmere with student visits and co-hosting poetry slams and now collaborating on these two exhibitions. We both treasure and believe in furthering the arts in Chestnut Hill.

Head of School 


in the sch ARTS curriculum

In the Fall of 2019, Pat Feinstein spent the day with students of all ages and introduced them to Sam Feinstein's work. The students were energized by her stories about Sam and her insight into ways to “see” these abstract works of art. Students were also introduced to Sam’s earlier figurative work and they lined up for questions at the end of each session.

our sincerest gratitude

This exhibition could not be made possible without the generous support, mentorship and generosity of Patricia Stark Feinstein and the Samuel L. Feinstein Trust. She shared stories, a wealth of information, archival photos, films, research, and guided us in choosing materials and canvases for the exhibit.

Thank you to the Chestnut Hill Academy and Springside School alumni who passionately shared their stories of Barbara Crawford and Sam Feinstein with us: John Wenzel ‘41, Theodore Clattenberg ‘59, Thorpe Feidt ‘59, Bonnie Warwick ‘61, Binney Meigs ‘72, and Lewis Tanner Moore '71.

We extend our thanks to Sascha Feinstein who generously contributed an essay on his father for our catalogue. Thank you also to Ellen Fishman (P ‘11, ‘15), current Director of the Arts and New Media at SCH, for spearheading this venture; Melissa Maddonni Haims (P ‘21), parent volunteer and curator of the arts at SCH; Pia Druggan (P ‘17), art historian and assistant curator for this show.


Music, performing arts, visual arts, and new media—SCH provides an extensive and ever-growing list of creative opportunities throughout all divisions. Beginning with Pre-K, students are taught skills woven around artistic principles, concepts, and habits that grow in complexity from year to year. 

Learn more about
OUR Arts & New Media OFFERINGS.



Visit SCH's Barbara Crawford Gallery with a member of the SCH Arts Department. 

The gallery is open to the public by appointment only. Note: tours will take place when school is not in session.

Questions? Email