Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure Opens May 9 in the MSV

Retrospective Exhibition Highlights Mort Künstler's 60-year Career as Illustrator;
Related Programming Provides Opportunities to Meet the Artist  

Winchester, VA 04/30/15…The first thorough retrospective exhibition exploring the career of renowned artist and illustrator Mort Künstler (b. 1931) will be on view in the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) from May 9 through August 2, 2015. Featuring more than 80 works executed in a variety of genres, Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

While particularly known for his meticulously researched paintings of the American Civil War, Mort Künstler is also a prolific illustrator whose adventure and sporting images have entertained people for six decades. This exhibition will feature original artworks created for such popular publications as Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, Stag, and Male. The exhibition also includes his movie posters, book jackets, advertisements, and more.

To those who know Künstler only for his Civil War scenes, the works on view in the exhibition may seem unexpected. For example, anticipates MSV Director of Exhibitions Corwyn Garman, many visitors will be surprised to learn that Künstler created the illustration for the famous 1976 MAD Magazine cover which parodied the Jaws movie poster by featuring the magazine’s mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, swimming from a shark.

Works in the exhibition range from a sketch of Künstler's childhood bedroom, which the artist drew when he was eight years old, to more recent works. Among the latter are an image, painted in 2011, of George Washington crossing the Delaware River and advertisements created in 2012 for Maximus Vodka. In addition, the exhibition recognizes some artists who inspired Künstler with the inclusion of works by Norman Rockwell, Winslow Homer, and N.C. Wyeth.

Künstler credits his work for men’s adventure magazines in the 1950s and 1960s with teaching him how to compose and tell a story. That work, he said, “prepared me for all of the work I did later, including advertising art, movie posters, and historical paintings.” In addition to numerous magazine illustrations from the 1950s and 1960s, notable works in the exhibition include story illustrations for The Godfather, the poster for the 1972 movie The Poseidon Adventure, and a series of paintings commemorating the 1981 launch of the Columbia Space Shuttle.

In 1982 CBS-TV commissioned Künstler to provide art for the miniseries The Blue and The Gray, and that began his long association depicting Civil War scenes. Künstler has painted more than 350 Civil War subjects, including several scenes set in the Shenandoah Valley. Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure includes six paintings of Civil War subjects and four studies related to one of those paintings.

To complement the exhibition and exclusively at the MSV, Mort Künstler has generously provided, from his personal collection, six original paintings of Virginia Civil War subjects, three of which feature Winchester. For this exhibition, the artist also provided several studies for his painting Shenandoah Strategy, which is set on the grounds of the MSV’s Glen Burnie. With the original painting unavailable for loan, Künstler gifted the MSV a large-scale reproduction, which will also be on display.

During the exhibition's presentation at the MSV, fans will have three opportunities to meet the famous artist. First, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, the artist will be in the Museum Store to sign prints, books, and an exhibition catalogue ($10) available for purchase (signing limit of three items per person). There is no fee to attend the signing event. Then, from 7 to 9 p.m. that evening, Künstler will attend the exhibition opening reception. MSV Members may attend the reception for free; the cost for all others is $20. The event includes MSV admission and light fare (cash bar). Registration is required by May 6.

Künstler will return to the MSV on Saturday, July 11. From 2 until 3 p.m., he will discuss his work and career in an interview-format program moderated by Shenandoah Country Q102’s Chris Mitchell. Cost is $5 for MSV Members and $12 for all others. The program fee includes the opportunity to tour the exhibition. Space is limited, and registration is required by July 9.

Those interested in registering for the May reception or July program may do so on www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, extension 240.

The MSV display of Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure has been sponsored locally by Beyer Volvo and Volkswagen of Winchester and The Winchester Star. Following its display in the MSV, the exhibition will travel to the Citadelle Art Foundation in Canadian, Texas.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV complex—which includes galleries, the Glen Burnie House, and six acres of gardens—is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Museum galleries are open year-round; the house and gardens are open April through October. Admission is $10 or $8 for seniors and youth ages 13 to 18. General admission is always free to youth ages 12 and under and to MSV Members, and thanks to generous sponsorship from Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc., it is free to all every Wednesday. During the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the house and gardens will be open free of charge each Wednesday until 8 p.m.  Additional information is available at www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235. –END–  

       

Related Events and Educational Programs

Mort Künstler Signing Event
Saturday, May 9 • 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
The artist will be in the Museum Store to sign prints, books, and an exhibition catalogue ($10) available for purchase.
Free; signing is limited to three items per person.

Opening Reception: Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure
Saturday, May 9 • 7–9 p.m.
Join us to celebrate the exhibition opening and meet the artist. Includes Museum and exhibition admission and light fare; cash bar.
Free to MSV Members; all others: $20. Registration required by May 6.

Gallery Talk: “The Art of Adventure”
Sunday, June 7 • 2–3 p.m. or Friday, July 24 • 2–3 p.m.
Explore select works in Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure with Nancy Huth, MSV deputy director of arts and education.
Free to MSV Members; all others: $10. Registration required by June 5 or July 23.

Adult Workshop: The Art of Illustration
Wednesday, July 1 • 2–4 p.m.
Learn how to create visual illustrations with Virginia Museum of Fine Arts instructor Kendra Wadsworth.
MSV Members: $25; all others: $30. Registration required by June 29.

An Afternoon with Mort Künstler
Saturday, July 11 • 2–3 p.m.
Mort Künstler discusses his work and career in this interview-format program moderated by Shenandoah Country Q102’s Chris Mitchell.
MSV Members: $5; all others: $12. Pre-register/reserve tickets by July 9.

Gallery Talk: “The Civil War in the Valley”
Wednesday, July 15 • 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Using Mort Künstler’s Civil War paintings, Kyle Rothemich, National Park Service ranger, Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park, will discuss the history of the Civil War in the Valley.
Free. Admission is free on Wednesdays thanks to sponsor Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc.

Gallery Talk: “Civilians and the Civil War”
Wednesday, July 29 • 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Using Mort Künstler’s Civil War paintings, Shannon Moeck, National Park Service ranger, Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park, will discuss the effect Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Valley campaign had on the daily lives of Shenandoah Valley residents.
Free. Admission is free on Wednesdays thanks to sponsor Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc.

          

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Contact Info: 
Julie B. Armel, 540-662-1473, ext. 225, [email protected]
Category: 
Press Release