Saunders born November 27 in Manhattan, New York City, fourth
and last child of Norman Saunders (b. 1907) and Ellene (Politis)
Saunders (b. 1922) , artist and model of cover illustratons for
pulp magazines. Family lives at 312 West 104th Street, a four-story
brownstone between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive.
friends include artists and illustrators Allen Anderson, Ralph
DeSoto, Rudy Belarsky, Tommy Lovell, Walter Baumhofer, Norman
Rockwell, Stan Lee, Wally Wood, Jack Davis, Walt Wilwerding and
Gerald Cording, an abstract painter who studied with Fernand
Leger and Diego Rivera.
Grandparents, Dimitiuts Politis (b.1889) and Clara (Segelke)
Politis (b. 1888) in Columbus Nebraska and Elvira (Cox) Saunders
(b. 1886) in Rosseau Minnesota.
and assembles complex displays of discarded items from NYC streets.
Plays with toy soldiers. Carves and paints toy soldiers from
balsa wood. Inspied by neighborhood scissors artist who cuts
paper into fantastically detailed creatures. Meets dozens of
elderly neighbors with numbers tatooed on their arms who describe
survival of Nazi deathcamps.
Attends pre-school at Riverside
Church, 122nd Street and Riverside Drive.
Taught to draw by father, using
books from Federal Schools Correspondence Art Courses, the same
manuals that father studied as a teenager in 1926. Taught to
copy the drawings of Walt Wilwerding, George Bridgeman, and Gustave
Dore, but most inspired to copy drawings of Winsor McKay's "Little
Nemo in Slumberland" and Walt kelly's Pogo and friends in
Attends Kindergarten at P.S.93
on Amsterdam and 93rd Street.
Meets abstract painter, Theodore
Stamos, for painting lessons.
Frequents Gerald Cording's studio
in the bohemian beat poet scene of Greenwich Village. Cafe Wha?,
The Gaslight, Dante's Inferno and Washington Square Park.
Attends First Grade at P.S 93
on Amsterdam and 93rd Street.
Selected for special art aptitude
tests at P.S. 96. Awarded free weekend art classes at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art Education department. Attends classes on Saturday
mornings and receives top honors, despite being the youngest
student in attendance.
Attends Second Grade at P.S.
93 on Amsterdam and 93rd Street.
Mother works as copy editor for
McCalls Magazine. Father finds freelance art assignments at Topps
Bubblegum Company, where he contributes to Civil War News, a
children's card series depicting gruesome events from the American
Civil War, as a centennial commemorative card set.
Meets neighborhood photographer,
Attends Third Grade at P.S. 145
on Amsterdam and 105th Street, due to mandated NYC public school
intergration quotas. This school has 1700 students in attendance,
of which 14 are white.
Father produces Mars Attacks
bubblegum card series which depicts worldwide mayhem as merciless
Martian invaders conduct complete extermination of human race.
Poses with pet dog "Cindy" for card #36 "DESTROYING
Routine air raid drills and city-wide
installation of bomb shelters generate mass hysteria during the
Cuban Missile Crisis.
Attends Fourth Grade at P.S.
145 on Amsterdam and 105th Street.
Poses for father's painting of
Gold Rush candy display box for Topps Bubblegum
November 22, President John F.
Kennedy assassinated. School is dismissed. Mass hysteria in Harlem
streets, which overflow with weeping people for several days.
Attends Fifth Grade at P.S. 145
on Amsterdam and 105th Street.
World's Fair is held at Flushing
Meadows, Queens, NY. Teacher submits painting to neighborhood
art contest sponsored by Lamston's Five & Dime, on Broadway
and 102nd Street. Wins first prize which is admittance for entire
family to the World's Fair, where many startling presentations
are seen, such as Michelangelo's "Pieta", along with
murals by Pop artists Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist,
as well as murals by artist illustrators Harry Anderson and Tommy
Pop Art show at Masters Institute
on Riverside Drive and 103rd Street.
Meets neighborhood artist, Alice