Painted in 1981, this iconic image of a trapper riding through a pond in the early morning hours of a Pacific Northwest setting is featured, and is the frontispiece for Dee Brown’s book “Images of The Old West” (see images). It also appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post Jan/Feb 2017 (see image), along with an article about the author who at 93 years of age is still active. A copy of that magazine autographed by the author is included with the sale of the painting.
Mort Kunstler is best known for his realistic depictions of western scenes, and is a foremost historical artist who accurately reflects the events of American western history by utilizing both his far reaching talent and in-depth knowledge of the subject. Mort Kunstler made a study of Norman Rockwell early in his career and likens himself to him in many ways, especially in the creation of a character and in the depiction of hands. Martin Mahoney museum curator director, recently curated a showing of his work at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
In the book referenced above, a collection of Kunster’s paintings are uniquely intertwined with dialogue and historical recounting by Dee Brown of events that occurred in American history during the 1800’s; especially as relates to cowboys and Indians. The hardcover pictorial narrative consisting of 96 high quality images of Kunstler paintings and 190 pages overall, is a novel approach to reliving and understanding the old west. Dee Brown is the leading historian of that genre who also wrote “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”.
A copy of the hardcover book is included with the painting.
The oil on canvas (signed lower right) is 30″ x 40″; and 37 3/4″ x 47 5’8″ in it’s handsome wood frame.
Provenance: Mr. and Mrs. Jack Morse
Exhibitions: Hammer Galleries, New York, New York 1981
Washington County Museum 1986
Nassau County Museum of Art
“The American Spirit: The Paintings of Mort Kunstler”
May 28-August 13, 2006
Norman Rockwell Museum September 26, 2014 Mort Kunstler: The Art of Adventure
Literature: Dee Brown, “Images of The Old West, The Paintings of Mort
Kunstler” (New York, New York Lane Press 1996)
frontispiece illustrated. (Hardcover)
Catalogue, Mort Künstler: Epic Paintings of America, Hammer Galleries, New York, 1981, illustrated in color, p. 12.
Limited Edition Print, World Art Editions, 1982.
Catalogue, The American Spirit: Mort Künstler, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, 1986, illustrated in black and white, p. 12.
Commager, Henry Steele. The American Spirit – the Paintings of Mort Künstler. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1986, illustrated in color, pp. 64-65.
Book Cover, Mountain Manhunt, David Thompson, New York: Leisure Books, 1991, illustrated in color.
Educational Media Project, The American People: Fabric of a Nation, National Geographic Society, 1993, disc location 52675.
Calendar, The American Spirit 1994, Brown and Bigelow, St. Paul, MN, illustrated in color, October. Commager, Henry Steele, Rod Gragg, and Mort Künstler. The American Spirit – the Paintings of Mort
Künstler. Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 1994, illustrated in color, pp. 64-65.
Textbook Illustration, Traditions in Literature, Scott Foresman-Pearson, Glenview, IL, 1995, illustrated Mort Künstler, Inc. 1 Updated: February 2018
Poster, National Geographic Society, 1995, poster set.
Picture Show, Westward Expansion, National Geographic Society, 1996.
Künstler, Mort, and Dee Brown. Images of the Old West: The Paintings of Mort Künstler. New York: Park Lane Press, 1996, illustrated in color, pp. 2-3, and 180.
Book Cover, Journal of a Trapper, Osborne Russell. Reno, NV: University of Nebraska Press, 1996, illustrated in color.
Calendar, Images of the Old West: The Paintings of Mort Künstler, 1998, Cedco Publishing Company, San Rafael, CA, illustrated in color, November.
Embroidered Patch, Bravewater 1998, Boy Scout Troop 413, Tipp City, OH.
Book Cover, Mountain Man: A Novel, Vardis Fisher. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000, paperback edition, illustrated in color.
Brochure, Western History, Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000, illustrated in color. Robertson, James I. Robertson, Jr., See American History: The Wild West 1804-1890, The Art of Mort
Künstler, 2016, illustrated in color, p. 15.
Magazine Cover, “Painting the American Adventure: An Interview with Mort Künstler,” Saturday
Evening Post, Jan/Feb 2017, illustrated in color, cover.