Sam Knecht

Sam Knecht

Professor Emeritus
"Studying art at Hillsdale involves operating in a visual arena where life-affirming values of love of beauty and the dignity of man are primary."
— Sam Knecht

Faculty Information

Additional Faculty Information for Sam Knecht


B.F.A., Michigan State University, 1971

M.F.A., University of Michigan, 1976


2009 First Place Watermedia Members Only Competition, Portrait Society of America

1992 Best in Show Statewide Juried Annual, Michigan Water Color Society

Publications and Portfolio

American Artist (Nov. 1981) Article on watercolor and egg tempera

American Artist Studios 20 (Oct. 2010) Article on Knecht home studio and artwork

“The Signing of the American Constitution” 2010. six by ten foot oil painting depicting affirmation of the Constitution, September 17, 1987; permanent collection: Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship


Art was embedded in my boyhood home. My grandfather and father were both good artists and could draw extremely well. I’ve carried on the family tradition, having taught art full time at Hillsdale for thirty-eight years.

The purpose of higher education is to provide training and guidance in the field a student loves while engaging the student in other disciplines. This is based on faith that the overall balance will enrich and inspire, leading to more worthy accomplishment.

Teaching art and art history should expose students to the best creations found in the established traditions of Western and American civilization while at the same time making them aware of other cultures around the globe. In the studio courses students select, there should exist skill training at a high level balanced with prompts for imagination. An absence either of skill or imagination runs the risk of lame results.

Studying art at Hillsdale involves operating in a visual arena where life-affirming values of love of beauty and the dignity of man are primary. The ability of humans to draw and dream are sought with love and discipline in our program. We lament the substitution of artistic skill and love of past greatness with a quest for novelty in many other undergraduate art programs. I teach here because the College itself is exceptional, its students have good values and motivation, and the College upholds the value of a strong cultural education.

When not working on campus, I’m either enjoying time with my family or painting. The painting episodes are devoted either to landscape or portraits.