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Mort Künstler, well-known painter of Civil War scenes and subject of the retrospective exhibition Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure, discusses his work and career in this interview-format program moderated by Q102’s Chris Mitchell.
MSV Members: $5; all others $12 (includes MSV admission). Pre-register/reserve tickets by Thursday, July 9; visit www.theMSV.org or call 540-662-1473, ext. 240. Seating limited.
About Mort Künstler: Born in 1931, Mort Künstler is one of our nation's premiere historical artists. After studying art at Brooklyn College, UCLA, and Pratt Institute, he became a successful illustrator in New York. Assignments from National Geographic Magazine taught him the value of working with historians to ensure his concepts were based on accuracy.
In the early 1970s, Künstler's paintings began attracting the attention of serious art collectors. At first the interest was mainly in his Western subject matter, but after a major museum retrospective exhibition and a one-man show at the prestigious Hammer Galleries in New York City, he became known as an important painter of historic subjects. Since that first show in 1977, Künstler has presented 13 additional, highly successful one-man shows at Hammer Galleries and has been widely exhibited at museums across the country.
In 1982, a commission from CBS-TV to create artwork for the miniseries The Blue and The Gray sparked the artist's close association with the Civil War. Created through painstaking research, his painting The High Water Mark was unveiled at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum in 1988, and he has been concentrating on Civil War subjects since that time. Important commissions have included a 1992 United States postage stamp depicting the Buffalo Soldiers; serving as the official artist for the 2001 motion picture Gods and Generals; and Washington's Crossing, an accurate depiction of George Washington crossing the Delaware River, unveiled at the New York Historical Society on December 26, 2011, the 235th anniversary of the actual event, to great acclaim.
For the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, more than 30 Civil War paintings by Künstler were exhibited at various museums, including the Virginia Military Institute Museum, Lexington, Virginia; the South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, South Carolina; Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania; North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, North Carolina; and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, Maryland.
Virginia officially declared a "Mort Künstler Day" in 1999, and in 2000, Governor James Gilmore officially opened an exhibition at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond called The Confederate Spirit: The Paintings of Mort Künstler, the first one-man exhibition of a contemporary artist at that museum. In 2002, Künstler became the first artist to be honored by a six-month, one-man exhibition at the new National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 2001 he received the Henry Timrod Southern Culture Award and, in 2003, the Jefferson Davis Southern Heritage Award, both by the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. Künstler has also been named as an Official Artist for the H. L. Hunley, a submarine of the Confederate States of America, and he unveiled a new painting of the vessel during ceremonies in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2004. He has also been commissioned to furnish all the artwork for the Middletown, Ohio, Veterans Memorial, which was unveiled on July 4, 2004.
The latest collection of the artist's work, The New Nation: The Creation of the United States in Paintings and Eyewitness Accounts: The Art of Mort Künstler was published in October 2014. Mort Künstler currently lives with his wife Deborah, in Oyster Bay, New York. Learn more about the artist's work here.
Sat, Jul 11 • 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
MSV Members: $5