But it all started with art classes as a child, as he reminisces in this excerpt from the Art Works podcast. [1:10]
Frank Stella: When I went away to school to Phillips Academy they offered classes in painting. So you had an art history class which was art history in the morning and painting in the afternoon and they had a studio so you had a studio class so that combination of art history and studio probably defines my way of living I guess or what I think about life because I can't work without thinking in a way and I think in a pretty conventional art historical way about painting, and then I have to go to the studio and make the paintings so you think and paint, paint and think. And it was just ingrained in me and I liked it, but there was one other thing about elite education and Andover; it had one other thing besides the overall educational excellence- excellence with- was the Addison Gallery of American Art, and so we had art history courses. We looked at slides, and then walked upstairs and looked at real paintings and really good paintings too. They were American paintings but you're talking about Sargent, Winslow Homer, the real thing, so you saw the real examples of the real art, and then you went downstairs and went to work.