FT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Two iconic paintings of sharks doing battle with their undersea foes will be the touchstones of SHARK!, an upcoming exhibition at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art. Both are by Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006), widely viewed as the first and still foremost painter of game fish in their natural settings. Neither has been on public display since Meltzoff’s death six years ago.
Fans of fine sporting art will have no trouble recalling Stanley Meltzoff.
Born in Brooklyn in 1917, his career included four years as a Stars and Stripes newspaper correspondent during WWII, postwar teaching at the prestigious Pratt Institute of Art in New York, and many decades as a highly successful commercial artist and illustrator.
As an early and enthusiastic SCUBA diver, Meltzoff secured a commission from Sports Illustrated in 1960 to do a series of game fish paintings unlike anything ever done before. His dramatic and incredibly detailed pictures of striped bass, bluefish, sailfish, and other species proved to be breathtaking and set an impossibly high bar for other artists. Repeatedly honored throughout his career, Meltzoff’s death in 2006 stilled a brush that will never be equaled.
Elsewhere, original art by Stanley Meltzoff can be seen as part of ART OF THE DIVE, a multi-media exhibition curated by David Wagner that will open March 24th at The Wildlife Experience Museum in Denver, Colorado. A one-man Meltzoff show also opens at the American Museum of Illustration in New York on June 7.
SHARK! will open at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art on May 13 and run until November 4. That show is being curated by noted author and artist Richard Ellis.
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