Mort Künstler is now known as America’s foremost historical artist, but over the course of his 50-year career, he also achieved that and many other distinctions. His name is well known to the publishers of illustrated books and magazines, and to the art directors of advertising agencies because Künstler first made his mark as an outstanding illustrator.
After studying art at Brooklyn College, … Künstler says. "I could not do what I do todaywithout that background. … You had to be creative and you had to meet deadlines."
Künstler completed at least three cover illustrations and two inside illustrations every month, for MagazineManagement alone. It's the main reason he used pen names such as Martin Kay and Emmett Kaye.
"The editors didn't want it to look like one person was doing all the art."
In the past 20 years, Künstler has focused on historical subjects – spending much of his time recreating … up to $250,000.
"The men's adventure magazines from the late 1950s and 1960s were among the most popular magazines of their time," says Heritage Art Galleries illustration art specialist Ed Jaster. "Mort Künstler was among the greatest illustrators of that period. Now, with his focus on the American Civil War, he is considered by many to be the country's premier historical artist."