Friday, November 9, 2012
Press Release: Mort Künstler Announces Retirement from Civil War Genre
Mort Künstler announces retirement from Civil War genre.
“What a remarkable people they were – the generation of Americans that faced the Civil War.”
This quote comes from the book An American Palette--The Paintings of Mort Künstler and was offered
up by the artist himself when asked to comment on one of his paintings depicting the plight of the
nation. “Remarkable” is certainly a fitting adjective to describe the courage, strength and conviction of
America during the Civil War. It is also a fitting term to describe the 83 year-old painter himself.
Although he is not retiring altogether, as Künstler will continue to paint commissioned pieces, he is
officially announcing his impending retirement from the Civil War genre. His final Civil War print will
be released to coincide with the conclusion of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Collectors will be happy to know that there are still eight remaining Mort Künstler Civil War paintings
to come including the 2012 annual snow scene depicting an event in the Winchester/Shenandoah Valley.
Künstler’s final Civil War series is titled “A Tribute to the Legend” and will feature historical locations,
personalities, and events that are special to the artist.
This early announcement is being made to give collectors and the public an opportunity to meet Künstler
during his farewell tour. His Civil War paintings represent an amazing legacy that will live on for
generations. “Mort Künstler is the foremost Civil War artist of our time – if not of all time,” says Dr.
James I. Robertson Jr., the dean of Civil War historians and the author of the celebrated biography,
Stonewall Jackson. Referring to Künstler’s newest painting Shenandoah Strategy, Robertson says, “His
gift of using light never ceases to amaze me. I have no doubt but that accuracy marks every stroke of his
For over 50 years, Mort Künstler has been capturing the essence of the American story on canvas.
Focusing on the Civil War almost exclusively since the 1980s, Künstler has produced over 350 paintings
on the subject. Commemorative prints, as well as poser illustrations for the television mini-series The
Blue & The Gray and companion books for the motion pictures Gettysburg and Gods and Generals have
been published on his work. Today, Künstler remains the most collected artist in the genre.
In September of 2012 Künstler was honored at the National Archives in Washington, DC. This
prestigious tribute came as the latest in an impressive line of accolades. Due to his stellar reputation for
both accuracy and artistic mastery Künstler was commissioned from the U.S. Postal Service in 1992 to
produce a painting of the Buffalo Soldiers. The resulting stamp was issued in April of 1994. In 1999,
Virginia Governor James Gilmore officially declared a “Mort Künstler Day” in the Old Dominion and in
2004 Mort was named as an official artist for the Confederate submarine, the H.L. Hunley.
“Several contemporary artists are capturing the Civil War in their work; the best is Mort Künstler,” says
James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian. “With his vivid use of color, of light
and shadow, of movement conveyed by brush strokes and facial expressions, he succeeds in bringing to
life the people caught in a moment of important or decisive action.”
Certainly no one has painted the American Civil War with the extraordinary authenticity and drama as
Mort Künstler. He truly is America’s artist and collectors everywhere are cordially invited to accompany
him as he concludes this portion of his career while honoring those who fought and died during
America’s Great Divide.