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The Mentor Hall of Fame


Virtually anyone can benefit from having a mentor. And most well-known, accomplished and successful artists can identify people in their lives who acted as mentors.

The following list of mentor pairs was compiled by Rey Carr from a variety of sources including autobiographies, biographies, newspaper articles, personal interviews, and diligent historical research.

If you know of mentor pairs that ought to be added, we have provided an opportunity for you to submit the names and details: Add a Mentor Pair.



Summer Evening

Childe Hassam


  • Celia Laighton Thaxter (poet) mentor to Childe Hassam (American impressionist, 1859-1935, paintings)
  • Benjamin West (historical painter Bio) mentor to Washington Allston (artist, poet)

  • Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), American artist Works) was a mentor to Georgia O'Keeffe (American painter Bio) and photographer Arnold Newman.


Freedom of Speech

Norman Rockwell


  • Norman Rockwell (illustrator and painter, biography) mentor to John Cullen Murphy (wrote the Prince Valiant comic strip for 33 years)
  • Claude Monet (French painter, 1840-1926, Bio) was a mentor to Lilla Cabot Perry (American artist, 1848-1933, Bio)

  • William Gillies (landscape artist) mentor to Elizabeth Blackadder (contemporary painter)

  • Lawren Harris (Canadian Group of Seven) mentor to Thomas John Thomson (Canadian Group of Seven) and Emily Carr (Canadian artist)

  • Arthur Lismer (Canadian painter) mentor to Isabel McLaughlin (painter)

  • André Breton (Surrealist, Bio), Alfred Pellan (Canadian painter, Bio and work) mentors to Mimi Parent (Canadian Surrealist painter, Bio)

  • Pegi Nichol MacLeod (Canadian painter, Bio) mentored by Marius Barbeau (Anthropologist, Bio) and Maud and Eric Brown (Director of the National Gallery of Canada)

  • Canadian painter Jack Shadbolt (1909-1998) mentor to Molly Lamb Bobak (!920-2014; illustrator, and first female war artist) and Kazumi Kawaguchi (Canadian muralist and painter)

  • James Orrock mentor to William Hesketh Lever (18th century British painter)

  • Joseph Pennell (art teacher) mentor to Charles Henry White (Canadian-born painter-etcher of American cities)

  • Arshile Gorky (American painter) mentor to Willem de Kooning (American abstract expressionist painter)

  • Willem de Kooning (abstract impressionist painter) mentor to Robert Rauschenberg (modern painter)

  • Peter Pauwel Rubens (17th century Flemish master) mentor to David Teniers (Flemish painter) and x Velásquez (Spanish painter)

  • Mexican artist and muralist Diego Rivera (1886-1957) was a mentor to Utah-born muralist Pablo Higgens (1904-1983).

  • Andrea del Verrocchio (painter, bio) mentor to Leonardo da Vinci

  • Leonardo da Vinci mentor to Raphael Sanzio (painter, Bio and work)

  • Diederik Tulp (17th century physician) mentor to Paulus Potter (17th century painter)

  • George III mentor to John Hoppner (English portrait painter)

  • Lorenzo de' Medici mentor to Luigi Pulci (Italian poet)

  • Cosimo de' Medici mentor to Benedetto Varchi (Italian poet and historian)

  • Gustavus III mentor to Carl Michael Bellman (18th century Swedish poet)

  • Paul Verlain (French poet) mentor to Arthur Rimbaud (French poet)

  • Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (known as "Colette") (1873-1954) was a mentor to French writer Georges Simenon (1903-1989)

  • William Dean Howells (American novelist and former editor of The Atlantic Monthly) mentor to Henry James (brother of William James and American novelist), Mark Twain, Thorstein Veblen and Stephen Crane

  • Ed Ricketts mentor to John Steinbeck

  • H.L. Mencken (Bio) mentor to William Manchester (author and historian)

  • Robert Penn Warren (writer) mentor to Larry Leavitt (friend of Rey Carr)

  • Sammy Sampas mentor to Jack Kerouac

  • Dashiel Hammett (writer Bio) mentor to Lillian Hellman (writer, Bio)

  • Arthur Krock (editor) mentor to James Reston (Pulitzer Prize author and writer)

  • Hermann Hesse mentor to Hans Carossa (German poet and novelist)

  • The W.O. Mitchell Literary Prize is awarded annually to an author that demonstrates both excellence and mentorship in writing

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson mentor to Henry David Thoreau, Charles Ives (composer), and Daniel Chester French (sculptor and creator of the Lincoln Memorial)

  • Henry David Thoreau mentor to Stephanie Mills (author, Epicurean Delight)

  • Walter Ufer (Taos artist) mentor to Carl Woolsey (artist)

  • G.H. Lewes mentor to George Eliot (English novelist)

  • When you visit Philadelphia, take a trip to Mentor Street near the Greenmount Cemetery

  • Stella Linden (actress) mentor to John Osborne (British playwright and film producer)

  • James Lind (British doctor created cure for scurvy) mentor to Percy Bysshe Shelley (British poet, Bio)

  • George William Russell (poet) mentor to Pamela Lyndon Travers (creator of Mary Poppins)

  • Franz Boas (anthropologist) mentor to Margaret Mead (anthropologist)

  • Margaret Mead (anthropologist) mentor to Gail Sheehy (writer)

  • Frank Sargeson (New Zealand writer) mentor to Janet Frame (New Zealand novelist) and Maurice Duggan

  • H.P. Lovecraft mentor to Robert Bloch (writer of the screenplay Psycho) and August Derleth (American author and editor)

  • Virgilio Pinera (Cuban dramatist) mentor to Reinaldo Arenas (Cuban writer, author of Before Night Falls)

  • Gloria Steinem, author, political activist and women's advocate is a mentor to American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz.

  • Colombian novelist, screenwriter and Nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Márquez (1927-2014) called American author and Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner (1897-1962) and journalist and scholar Clemente Manuel Zabala (1889-1963) his mentors.

  • Jorge Luis Borges, a poet and author, (1899-1986) was mentored by Spanish poet, literary critic and essayist Rafael Cansinos-Asséns (1882-1964) and Argentine writer, humorist and philosopher Macedeonio Fernández (1874-1952) and was a mentor to Argentine poet Norah Lange (1905-1972)

  • Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook (1969-2016) acted as a mentor for many other artists.

  • Argentine writer Macedonio Fernandez (1874-1952) was a mentor to award-winning writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1996).

  • Composer Wlliam Flanagan (1923-1969), nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music, was a mentor to Three-time Pulitzer Prize winning American playwright Edward Albee (1928-2016).

  • Three-time Pulitzer Prize winning American playwright Edward Albee (1928-2016) is a mentor to American playwright and Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Eno.

  • Canadian Aboriginal artist, educator and political activist Alex Janvier, often referred to as "an original member of the Native Group of Seven," has been called a giant of his time and has served as a major influence and mentor to a new generation of Aboriginal artists.

  • Award-winning Canadian poet and founder of the Edmonton Poetry Festival Alice Major has been described as an inspiration to other writers and a mentor to literary and arts organizations.

  • Canadian visual artist Cris Cran, and the first Albertan to have his work shown in the National Gallery of Canada, is known to be a mentor to emerging artists in Calgary.

  • Canadian artist and musician with a degree in early childhood education Bob Turner (1944-2017) was a described as a person who had a "sense of humour that would have made a middle schooler wince" was also known as a mentor for other artists.

  • Acclaimed and internationally recognized multi-media, visual annd installation artist as well as writer, Joane Cardinal-Schubert is known as a mentor and advocate for Indigenous art.

  • A Protege Award has been established on behalf of Toronto-born Canadian artist and filmmaker Joyce Wieland (1930-1998) and recipients play a mentorship role and are given an opportunity to create a work of art. Ms. Wieland was a mentor to artist Munro Ferguson.

  • Holland-born Canadian artist Albert Franck (1899-1973) was a mentor to Toronto-born Canadian artist and a founding member of eh Abstract Expressionists group Painters Eleven, Harold Town (1924-1990).

  • Award-winning Saskatchewan-born Canadian literary giant, short story writer, and author of No Great Mischief Alistair MacLeod (1936-2014) was descibed as a mentor by other writers, served as a mentor at Humber School for Writers, and was the inspiration of the development of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program for developing writers in Nova Scotia.

  • Canadian shipyard founder and owner, engineer and author Arthur McLaren (1919-1999) is a mentor to award-winning Canadian master model boat builder Ron Burchett.

  • Hong Kong-born Canadian editor, poet, photographer, activist and founder of Ricepaper magazine Jim Wong-Chu (1949-2017) was according to obituary writer Tom Hawthorn, a "tireless promoter of Asian-Canadian writing" and that his "greatest influence was as a mentor to other storytellers."

  • Dallas, Texas-born Canadian American children's book author Janet Lunn (1928-2017) was, according to co-author Christoper Moore, former chair of the Writer's Union of Canada, "was a model of what a Canadian writer should be. She was righteous and full of imagination and empathy, and brave as a lion. She became an inspiration and mentor to many other writers..."

  • Award-winning American writer William Kittridge is a mentor to New York-born author and journalist William Finnegan, the author of Barbarian Days, the Pulitizer Prize winner for autobiography and a memoir of his surfing days; and American journalist and author Bryan DiSalvatore, the author of A Clever Base-Ballist: The Life and Times of John Montgomery Ward.

  • California surfer and physician Mark "Doc" Renneker is a mentor to author and New York-born author and journalist William Finnegan, the author of Barbarian Days, the Pulitizer Prize winner for autobiography and a memoir of his surfing days.

  • Award-winning American Disney "imagineer," author, Cast Member and the man most responsible for bringing Disney's theme parks to life, Martin Sklar (1934-2017) was a mentor to Walt Disney (1901-1966). Mr. Sklar and his wife were two of the founders of the Ryman Program for Young Artists, a project set up by a nonprofit foundation to teach and mentor traditional drawing and painting skills to talented young artists in Southern California.

  • NY Times journalist, media columnist and media teacher David Carr (1957-2015) is a mentor to NY Times tech columnist Nick Bilton and author of American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road. Mr. Bilton said of his late mentor, "David taught me so much about journalism and storytelling ('Keep typing until it turns into writing'), and I'll be forever grateful for the years I got to spend with him." Others David Carr mentored provide details about the lessons they learned from their mentor in this article by Mikaela Lefrak in The Atlantic.

  • Amereican book publisher Matthew Shear (1955-2013) is a mentor to NY Times best-selling and award-winning California-born American lawyer and author Kristin Hannah.

  • Award-winning British author, editor, soldier, poet and science fiction novelist who wrote more than 100 books, Brian Aldiss (1925-2017); and British author of fantasy novels Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) were mentors to British writer of novels and comic books Neil Gaiman.

  • German-born university professor who specialized in Native American and Native Canadian studies, Hartmut Lutz is a mentor to writer Kerstin Knopf, the author of Decolonizing the Lens of Power: Indigenous Films in North America.

  • American journal publisher, coach and scholar Russ Volckmann (1936-2017) is a mentor to journal editor and scholar Eric Reynolds.

Poets Often Act As Cross-Gender Mentors To Other Poets

William Carlos Williams


Elizabeth Bishop



Robert Penn Warren



Marianne Moore



Theodore Roethke



Carolyn Kizer



Wallace Stevens



Alan Ginsberg



Samuel Beckett



Edna St. Vincent-Millay


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