More than any other contemporary military artist, Don Stivers’ popularity has grown on both a national and international scale at an unprecedented rate. Don Stivers has created art, prints and posters spanning everything from illustrating book jackets to the opening of the American West, but most recently is best known for his prolific production of paintings whose theme is the American Civil War. Stivers choose, as subjects for his military paintings, events both momentous for the nation and historically significant for the individuals involved in each painting. Through the eyes of the individual we see the fate of nations unfold.
Don Stivers’ interest in art began during childhood as he copied newspaper comics in his hometown of Superior, Wisconsin. His formal art training began at the California College of Arts and Crafts after two years as a Navy corpsman in WW II. He started his professional career painting art, prints and posters, as have many of America’s finest artists, in the commercial art field, and spent 15 years at it on the West Coast until moving his family to the East. It was a decision that was to prove monumental in his career. He immediately began illustrating covers for Readers Digest and Field and Stream, and the book covers for the James Herriot All Creatures Great and Small series. He did the portraits of Charles DeGaulle, John Connally and Admiral Elmo Zumwalt for the covers of Time magazine. He also began doing portraits of Federal judges, work that he continues to do on occasion.
Following a natural inclination towards American History as a subject for fine art, in 1984 he began painting Civil War subjects. With the help of professional historians and driven by his own desire to know the most intricate visual details of the subjects he portrays, he has created some of the most remarkable military art, prints and posters of this century. The U.S. Command and General Staff College, the Army War College, the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 11th Armored Cavalry regiments, the 5th Corps Artillery, the 1st and 4th Infantry Divisions, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces have commissioned Stivers’ paintings. His originals hang in the collections of the U.S. Cavalry Museum, the Fort Bliss Museum, the Army War College, and the Headquarters of the 1st Cavalry Division. His prints are on display at the Pentagon, and in literally thousands of private collections across the country and overseas. The demand for his prints is so great, they often sell out within a few days of release.