DAVID SAUNDERS     chronography



1954 David 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.
1955 Family 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.
1956 Visits Grandparents, Dimitiuts Politis (b.1889) and Clara (Segelke) Politis (b. 1888) in Columbus Nebraska and Elvira (Cox) Saunders (b. 1886) in Rosseau Minnesota.  
1957 Collects 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 Okeefenokee Swamp.




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, Diane Arbus.


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 A DOG"

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 Lovell.

Pop Art show at Masters Institute on Riverside Drive and 103rd Street.

Meets neighborhood artist, Alice Neel.




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