Samuel Maitin, Untitled
Sam Maitin's (1928–2004) involvements in the city's cultural life were so deep he was known as Philadelphia's Mayor of the arts in his lifetime. He served on Woodmere's board of trustees and supported countless other organizations across the city, volunteering time and generously contributing designs for posters, invitations, emblems, mosaics, murals, and even building facades. This is his only monumental sculpture in the city of Philadelphia, although it joins two other smaller works in Woodmere's collection of the same period. In 2016, Woodmere undertook the project of enlarging this work from a small maquette and it is fabricated according to the artist's intent. Birdlike, it reaches upward and spreads its wings. Clean lines, playful color, and simple forms remind us of all that is beautiful in the living environment of nature.
After graduating from Simon Gratz High School, Maitin won a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts). A painter, printmaker, sculptor, muralist, graphic designer, political activist, and beloved teacher, Maitin headed the Visual Graphics Communication Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication from 1965 to 1972 and served on the board of Woodmere Art Museum from 1995-2004. He received a number of awards, including a 1968 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He created murals and other public art for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry, the Please Touch Museum, and Hahnemann University Hospital, among others. Maitin's work is museum collections in the United States and Europe, including the National Gallery of Art, the Tate, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and MoMA.