Samuel edmund Oppenheim was born in 1901 in Minsk, Russia, and came to America with his parents when he is 4 years of age. He studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League and later taught at the Art Students League in New York for many years. According to one of his students he was a quiet and reserved man but sensitive and gracious. His wife, Emilie, was also an artist. They had two homes and studios in Provincetown, Massachusetts and Naples, Florida where Emilie still resides.
His principal emphases to his students were careful observation of tonal values, special care to edges and making the brush strokes flow one into the other throughout the painting. His portraits are included in the collections at the White House, the Pentagon, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and the Rhode Island State Capitol. He was also a member of the Salmagundi Club.
Oppenheim is also in the collections of Chrysler Museum, DeBeers Collection, Emory University, The Pentagon, Rhode Island State Capital, and National Academy of Design among many others.