Carmel in the 1930s through the 1960s was home to a remarkable group of writers, photographers, and painters. All of whom rubbed shoulders in the small town. Many of them left a lasting impression on Sam including painters Salvador Dali and Fernand Leger (whom he had classes with in 1941), photographers Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, and writers Robinson Jeffers and John Steinbeck among others.
“In October 1952, artists (from left to right) Larry Lushbaugh, Jay Hannah, Sam Colburn, Dick Lofton, and Ellwood Graham put finishing touches on five abstract murals on the back wall of a service station facing Sixth Avenue. The colorful—and highly controversial—15-foot pieces lasted only 18 months. Joe Kline, of Kline Electronics, “worried about the moral fiber of our American way of life” and “this monstrosity called modern art,” painted them out. (Photograph by Arthur McEwen; courtesy Alan McEwen collection.” Monica Hudson, Images of America, Carmel By-the-Sea, page 81
The artist Virginia Conroy with her husband (cartoonist Eldon Didini, circa 1970?) and Sam Colburn. Virginia and Eldon were famous for their intimate dinners replete with characters from the artistic side of Carmel. Sam was a regular guest. Sam was a regular at their house.
The front reception area at the Monterey County Courthouse (1200 Aguajito Road, Monterey, CA 93940) features this ceramic mural by Sam Colburn of Net Menders. Sam worked with ceramic artist Glenn Minshall on creating it and it was donated to the City of Monterey by Alma Walker in 1971.
This woodcut print by Mary Burr of Sam Colburn, probably done in the 1970s, was just discovered in the Colburn Family Archive. Sam used it on this cover of his publication Tales from the Taxicab. It was also used on an invitation to a posthumous evening gathering at the Carmel Art Association titled Remembering Sam in 1994.
Here is Mary Burr's AskArt biography submitted November, 2004 by Gary Stanley / ArtSanDiego. It is compiled from Carmel Art Association references.
Mary Burr began painting early in her career. She is known for her modernist / expressionist landscapes, still life and figurative works. As a dancer, she danced for the San Francisco Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, and then several Broadway musicals. She toured the United States and throughout Europe during her dancing career.
Burr came to the Monterey Peninsula from New York with her family. It was here she began giving serious attention to her artistic career. She spent over 20 years in the graphic arts business. Mary Burr studied at the Monterey Peninsula College, with Jon Corino at the Art Students League in New York, at the Art Institute of Chicago School, and studied with Victor di Gesu, longtime Monterey Peninsula artist and husband of artist Janet Ament de la Roche.
Mary Burr has been an Artist Member of the Carmel Art Association since 1989. Her works are held in collections nationwide, and throughout Europe. She has had works in the personal collections of the late Bob Fosse, Yul Brenner, and Director David Mann. Her works have been exhibited at the Pacific Grove Art Center, the Carmel Art Association Gallery, and at various venues throughout the Monterey Peninsula. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Carmel Art Association.