Born in New York City. As a child Glankoff taught himself to paint by copying miniature paintings he had seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Attended the 1913 Armory Show, the first international exhibition of modern art in America.
Enrolled in a few night classes at the Art Students League on 57th St in 1917. As a conscientious objector of WWI, he left for Cuba. Traveling overland, he sold paintings in exchange for food. Falsely accused of espionage, he was imprisoned on the Isle of Pines, and then released in 1919.
Returned to New York. Worked for Rosenberg Art Service Studio, and other art service studios, where he did woodcut illustrations, woodcut book illustrations and pen and ink advertisements.
Received a copy of Das Holzschnittbuch, the first book to publish German Expressionist woodcuts. After seeing these images, Glankoff began carving woodcuts with the grain in the German Expressionist style.
At the invitation of Juliana Force, exhibited paintings and woodcuts in the annual group shows of the Whitney Studio Club at the Anderson Galleries, for which Glankoff (Glanckopf) received critical acclaim from The New York Times.
Began living with Frances Kornblum, his partner for forty years. Glankoff and Kornblum spent the majority of their time in Woodstock in a large one-room stone house, where the attic served as Glankoff’s studio.
Unwilling to have his work judged by others, Glankoff refused to join the WPA. Did illustrations for St. Nicholas, Scribners, The New Yorker, Family Circle Magazine and for his brother Mort Glankoff’s CUE Magazine where he created the comic illustrated character of “Mr. Petworthy”. Created paintings in oil as well as woodcuts. Despite the fact that Glankoff was prolific both in his personal and professional work throughout this decade into the 1940s, few paintings from this period remain.
Returned to New York City taking an apartment on East 33rd Street, commuted to Woodstock.
Worked as head artist for True Comics.
During this time Glankoff became more interested in using water-based inks for printing instead of oil-based. His woodcuts became less figurative and more abstract, a shift conveyed in small abstract collage monotypes and small casein paintings on paper. Symbolism and primitive ideas began to surface in his work.
Began designing toys full time for Kornblum’s toy import business Impulse Items. Over the course of fifteen years, Glankoff designed and fabricated over 200 new toy ideas. Glankoff produced the first Babar the Elephant stuffed toys and created the prototype of Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat.
With Kornblum's death, Glankoff walked away from their shared venture in the toy business, selling the Woodstock house and using the proceeds to work full-time on his art. During this time, Glankoff began to further develop his innovative paint-print-transfer technique, a method that he invented which combined painting, printing and woodcut to make multi-panel large-scale works.
Introduced by his brother, Mort Glankoff, to Elke Solomon and Berta Walker, curators at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Out of this meeting, the term "print-painting", one that would be applied to his works of this period, emerged. Although offered an exhibition, Glankoff declined, saying he was not yet ready.
Glankoff signs and dates his previously unsigned body of work. Agrees to be filmed for a documentary on his art-making process and life, entitled, Re-Arranging Short Dreams, the title taken from a collection of his writings.
1981 TO PRESENT
Click here for complete list of exhibitions 1981 to PRESENT
Glankoff's first and only one-person show, at the Graham Gallery, New York City. First time Glankoff exhibits work since the Whitney Studio Club. Included in Brooklyn Museum's 22nd Annual Works on Paper exhibition, where a Glankoff is on view between the work of Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler.
Died in New York City.
Sam Glankoff Retrospective Exhibition, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum, Rutgers University, New Jersey.
Sam Glankoff: Woodcuts, 1925-1960s, Associated American Artists Gallery, New York