He’s the premier historical artist in America, and now he focuses mainly on the American Civil War. When Mort Künstler began his current emphasis on Civil War art in the early 1980s, he had already accomplished more than a half-dozen artists could hope to accomplish in a collective lifetime. From portraits of prehistoric American life to the odyssey of the space shuttle, Mort Künstler had painted America’s story, and was already renowned as “the premier historical artist in America.” When he placed his focus on Civil War art, Mr. Künstler quickly established himself as the country’s most-collected Civil War artist, and earned unprecedented acclaim within the genre of Civil War art, prints and posters.
Mr. Künstler’s talent and training were nurtured from an early age. After studying art at Brooklyn College, UCLA and Pratt Institute, he became a successful illustrator in New York where he received assignments from book and magazine publishers. An important part of his training resulted from his affiliation with National Geographic Magazine. It was through their assignments of historical subject matter that he learned the value of working with historians so that accuracy was firmly imbued into his concept. In the early 1970s, Mr. Künstler’s art, prints and posters 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.
Probably no other artist in our nation’s history has recorded so many events in American history and certainly no one has painted them with the extraordinary authenticity and drama as Mort Künstler. Mort Künstler is America’s artist.