Shrine To A Forgotten Philadelphia Modernist

August 2, 2013 | by Dan Papa


A trove of Modernist art covers the walls of an old mansion in Northwest Philly. Sam Shane (born Sholem Luzar Olshansky) was a Philadelphia based painter who lived from 1900 to 1993. This video highlights the Germantown house where his family preserves and displays dozens of his colorful paintings.

Although he is not a well known artist, Shane was friends (and even shared studio space) with some very famous artists in Paris during the 1920s. He sold 150 paintings while in Europe which are now lost to history. In recent years, art curators have been impressed by this unique collection.

In the mid 1930s Sam gave up painting as a profession, and worked in New York City as an advertising designer to support his new family. He resumed painting in the 1940s with “Exodus” depicting Jews fleeing from the Nazis by boat, and continued to paint throughout his later years. Paul and Ana Shane hope that with increasing awareness in the art world the paintings can be sold or placed in museums to be preserved for the future.


About the Author

Dan Papa Dan Papa is a filmmaker, photographer, and musician living in West Philly. He is interested in history, landscape, and Himalayan culture. Visit his website at dan-papa.com, on Instagram @danpapa85, and on Twitter @danpapa85.

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