Legacies of Line and Light

Cape Cod Life  /  August 2023 /

Writer: Julie Craven Wagner

Renown Cape artists Sam Barber and Anne Packard celebrate milestone birthdays and lives of painting that will forever be linked to the beauty of Cape Cod. Sam Barber Octogenarian Sam Barber says he has been painting for 70 years; since he was ten years old. Born in Damascus, Syria the celebrated impressionistic painter found his way to New York City when an uncle sponsored his education at the Art Students League in New York City. Finding his way to the Cape led to the Cape School of Art in Provincetown where he studied under the great Henry Hensche for seven years. Hensche’s signature study of color and light was a perfect match for Barber’s innate ability to capture lively compositions with impressionistic flair.  Nantucket Light • 40" x 48" • oil Visitors to the Cape may recall seeing Barber set up in the lobby of the Dunfey Hotel in the West End of Hyannis where he would paint the portraits of tourists and locals alike. The prolific painter has always had many works in varying stages of completion throughout his life, and those days in the lobby of the hotel were no different. “I had a large landscape I was working on between when people came in for the portraits,” he recalls. “I had stepped away for lunch or to go somewhere and when I came back, a man was standing at the easel working on my landscape. He didn’t just touch-up one section, he really worked on it.” It turns out the helpful artist was Tony Bennett who had an appearance that night at the Melody Tent across the street. There is a long list of notable names Barber recounts on this subject, but his stories of close and meaningful interaction with the Kennedy’s of Hyannis Port are some of…

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Julie Craven Wagner

Julie Craven Wagner began her experience with Cape Cod Life in 2010 when she joined the sales team after 10 years of working with local businesses on the Cape and Islands with WMVY. In addition to sales, she is the Associate Publisher/Editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. Growing up on the Outer Cape has given her a unique perspective of life on Cape Cod, from tip to bridge, and that is reflected in her appreciation and presentation of stories found within the pages of our publications. Julie lives in North Falmouth with her husband, Eric, and their yellow lab, Enzo. When she finds free time, she enjoys her Cape Cod life sailing on Buzzards Bay, spending time on the beach in Wellfleet, or exploring Martha’s Vineyard.