402 Commercial Street

For at least two decades, from the late 1950s through the late 1970s (if not longer on either end), this was the studio of the prominent portraitist Samuel Edmund Oppenheim (1901-1992), a student of Charles W. Hawthorne and Harvey Dunn.

“He was committed to the concept of the single-sitting portrait study as the basic discipline,” recalled John Howard Sanden, one of Oppenheim’s students at the Art Students League in New York. “He felt that the urgency of the time constraint forced the artist to concentrate on essentials.” Oppenheim portrayed some of the most notable figures in town at mid-20th century: Rear Admiral Donald B. MacMillan and his wife Miriam; Harry Kemp; Peter Hunt; Dr. Daniel Hiebert, whose portrait can be seen in the 322 Commercial Street entry; and William F. Silva, of the Seamen’s Savings Bank, whose portrait can be seen in the 221 Commercial Street entry.

The property remains in family hands.



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