Fans of game fish art will have no difficulty in recalling Stanley Meltzoff. He was the first artist to realistically portray all the major game species in their natural habitats, and today his body of work remains the very best of its kind. Born in Brooklyn in 1917, Meltzoff received a classical education in the arts before joining The Stars and Stripes U.S. Army newspaper as an illustrator during WWII. Later, he taught at the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York before becoming one of the leading commercial artists in the country.
Meltzoff paintings have graced the covers of Field and Stream, Scientific American, The Saturday Evening Post, and many other publications. Among his most famous work was the cover of the iconic 1976 AT&T bicentennial phone book, of which more than 176 million were distributed nationwide.
In 1960, Meltzoff completed a groundbreaking series on striped bass for Sports
Illustrated that made him an instant celebrity in the sporting press. During a hugely productive second career, his renderings of billfish, bonefish, tarpon, and tuna served to define the genre while generating awestruck accolades from every quarter. His death in 2006 at age 89 stilled a brush that may never be equaled.
Stanley Meltzoff - Picture Maker (Silverfish Press) includes nearly 190 color plates of the artist's work throughout his career, plus lively narratives from both Meltzoff and co-author Rivkin. The deluxe edition ($89) will be limited to 500 copies and include a signed-and-numbered bookplate, vintage Meltzoff poster, and game fish art catalogue from the early 1980s. An un-numbered trade edition ($50) will also be available.
Co-author Mike Rivkin is a past president of the venerable Tuna Club of Santa Catalina Island and has authored four widely-acclaimed books on the history of big-game fishing. His Big-Game Fishing Headquarters: A History of the IGFA (IGFA Press) was judged among the finest outdoor books of 2005. Rivkin lives in southern California where he continues to fish the Pacific waters nearby.