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Stanley Meltzoff: The Great Game Fish

Stanley Meltzoff The Great Game Fish

“Swordfish and Mako” by Stanley Meltzoff ©Silverfish Press

Stanley Meltzoff (1917 – 2006) is widely regarded as the preeminent fish painter of all time. He was born in New York, received a classical education in the arts, and was an art professor at the City College of New York, Pratt Institute and Harvard University.

During WWII, Meltzoff was an artist for Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper, in Europe.

Meltzoff met with early postwar success as a commercial artist of fantasy, genre, historical, landscape, science and science fiction subjects for Colliers, Cosmopolitan, Field & Stream, Life, National Geographic, Redbook, Saturday Evening Post, Scientific American, The Atlantic, and assorted paperback publishers. His famous imagery of iconic Americans conversing by phone served as universal cover art for AT&T’s bicentennial telephone book in 1976, of which more than 187 million were printed and distributed nationwide.

An avid skin and scuba diver throughout his life, Meltzoff dove all the seven seas to observe the world’s great game fish and starting in 1949 added underwater photography. He first combined his passions for the sea, photography and art in the early 1960’s when he painted several series on various fish species for Sports Illustrated, National Geographic and Field & Stream.

Meltzoff’s marine life themes are represented in more than 350 paintings of bonefish, marlin, rays and sharks, striped bass, swordfish and many other species. His art is featured in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery, Lee Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Genesee Country Museum, The J. Paul Getty Museum, National Geographic Society, New Britain Museum of American Art, Princeton University, and numerous private collections.