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January 05, 2012

New Year Brings Three Rare Chances to See the Legendary Marine Art of Late Stanley Meltzoff

The art world and sporting press have rediscovered Meltzoff's talent and are once again clamoring for his imagery.

LA JOLLA, Calif. - While styles run the gamut among today's premier sporting artists, there is little disagreement as to the first and best game fish painter of all time. Over the course of more than 40 years, Stanley Meltzoff (1917 - 2006) established a reputation for astonishing underwater realism that has never been equaled. 

He painted virtually all of the world's great saltwater game species, and his art dominated the sporting press for decades.  If you picked up an outdoor magazine or tournament program from the eras of Kennedy to Reagan, you've undoubtedly seen his work.  Those were oil paintings -- not photographs -- and no other artist has ever done it better.
   
Now five years after his death, the art world and sporting press have rediscovered Meltzoff's talent and are once again clamoring for his imagery.  Three new art exhibitions will open this year that include Meltzoff art as their touchstones. 

First Meltzoff showing in Texas
The first is ART OF THE DIVE, a multi-media show curated by the noted David Wagner that will open its doors at the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi on January 19th.  ART OF THE DIVE includes five signature Meltzoff oil paintings that are breathtaking in their execution. 

Ft. Lauderdale showing features Shark!
Later this spring, the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale opens an exhibition titled Shark! and will feature one of Meltzoff's most iconic pictures.  This over-sized work was completed in 1988 and has never before been in public view.  Titled Broadbill, Mako, and Lancet Fish in the Glow of the Cyalumes, the dark and dangerous painting will be on prominent display as a highlight of the show.  Curated by prominent author/artist Richard Ellis, Shark! opens May 13th and will run throughout the summer.

Over 75 originals in New York City

Finally, the venerable Society of Illustrators in New York will turn over its brownstone gallery to a one-man Meltzoff show this summer from June 6th through July 28th. 

This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition will include more than 75 original Meltzoff paintings crossing the expanse of his varied career.  Many were Meltzoff's favorite pieces and never sold by him nor loaned for display.
  
Included in the mix will be more than two dozen game fish paintings covering all the great species: billfish, bonefish, permit, striped bass, swordfish, tuna, and others.  Sportsmen (and women) everywhere would do well to renounce the family vacation and take in this incredible array.  Its like may not gather together again for generations.