Sam Middleton

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{{Infobox person | name = Sam Middleton | birth_name = Sam Middleton | birth_date = (1927-04-02)April 2, 1927 | birth_place = New York City, New York | death_date = July 19, 2015(2015-07-19) (aged 88) | death_place = Schagen, Netherlands | occupation = Mixed-media artist

| spouse =

Hansje Kalff (Undated.)
 children    = 2 sons, 1 daughter, 5 grandchildren

Sam Middleton (April 2, 1927 – July 19, 2015) was a mixed-media artist from New York, NY. He travelled all over the world with the US Merchant Marine, lived in Mexico and Sweden and eventually settled down in the Netherlands where he "was part of the considerable contingency of expatriate African American artists".[1] Settling in Holland in 1961, he established himself as one of The Netherlands' premier artists.[2][3] His work is part of the Whitney Museum permanent collection, which included him in its 1962 exhibition 40 Artists Under 40 [4][5] and was included in the 2015 inaugural exhibition for the museum's new building on the High Line.[6]

Middleton was born in New York City and grew up in Harlem, NY. Known for his personal style, Middleton liked to use abstract expressionism in his work, basing his color, lines, and compositions around sound and harmony. Middleton specialized in working with collage.[1][7]


As a young boy growing up in Harlem, Middleton often visited the nearby Savoy Ballroom and music – jazz and classical – became important inspirations for his artistic endeavors. Working at the Savoy, Middleton designed costumes, and painted record and book covers.[1] He was a painter, aquarellist, and lithographer and was specialized in collages. After growing up in Harlem and after having lived in many countries, (Mexico, Japan, Spain and Sweden) the “Master of Collage” settled down in the Netherlands in 1961. He lived in Amsterdam for many years but, fascinated by the landscape, settled in Schagen in Noordholland. Music, (both classical and jazz) and the landscape of North Holland, create the climate of his abstract expressionist work. Middleton taught at Atelier 63 in Haarlem and the Royal Academy of Art in ‘s Hertogenbosch. Sam has been married twice, had three sons, one daughter and six grandchildren.

List of artworks[edit]

Out Chorus, 1960, part of the Whitney Museum collection[8]

Cymbals, 1962

Hymn to Democracy, 1962

Social Realism, 1964

Everyone's Music Book, 1975

Summer Wind, 1976

Black Music, 1993

Solo, 1993

Table Top Still Life, 1996

Monk Lost in Music, 2001


  1. ^ a b c Lock, Graham; Murray, David (December 3, 2008). The Hearing Eye: Jazz & Blues Influences in African American Visual Art. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199887675.
  2. ^ "Sam Middleton Bio", Sam Middleton Blog, July 6, 2011.
  3. ^ "Sam Middleton - Afro-American Artist in the Low Countries". Oogland Filmproducties. Vimeo.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Sam Middleton's Obituary". New York Times. July 29, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  8. ^

External links[edit]