more than a library…it’s an experience
610 North Fairbanks Court, 2nd Floor Contact:
Chicago, Illinois 60611 Mark Heiden
Phone: 312-587-0234 External Relations Coordinator
Fax: 312-587-7311 312-587-0234
NEW GALLERY EXHIBIT: A CAREER RETROSPECTIVE TO COVER
“THE ART OF MORT KÜNSTLER” AT THE PRITZKER MILITARY LIBRARY
CHICAGO, IL – As we continue our series of gallery exhibitions by great military artists at the
Pritzker Military Library, we’ve reached one of the true giants of the field: Mort Künstler.
A career retrospective of The Art of Mort Künstler will be on display at the Pritzker Military Library
from April 2 to May 29, 2009. Admission is free Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and
also for Library members during scheduled evening events.
Künstler began his career in the 1950s as a freelance artist, illustrating paperback book covers and
men’s adventure magazines. Later, he took on assignments for major film studios, creating posters
for movies such as The Poseidon Adventure and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. Long
before his celebrated depictions of Grant and Lincoln, Künstler had already tackled an American
icon: Alfred E. Neuman, on covers of Mad magazine, which he painted under the alias “Mutz”.
But while many of his early illustrations were pure entertainment, Künstler also created some
extraordinary military art. In 1977, his first major gallery exhibition brought new attention to his
talents as a historical illustrator. It was not until the 1980s, though, that he was acclaimed as one of
America’s foremost Civil War artists. Collections of Künstler’s work were published with text by
historians such as 2007 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award recipient James McPherson.
"Of all the artists working in the Civil War field,” he remarked, “none captures the human element,
the aura of leadership, the sense of being there and sharing in the drama, quite like Mort Künstler.”
This exhibition covers the breadth of Künstler’s career as a military artist, from the aerial combat of
Rick Nails a Drachen (1964) and the human element of The Korean Winter (1958) to recent work
such as The Final Mission (2003), a twilight scene at the doomed Confederate submarine H. L.
Hunley, and a vivid look at The Mud March (2005) of the Union Army through Virginia. It also
includes his dramatic interpretations of historical figures such as President Lincoln, Col. Robert
Shaw and the 54th Mass., and Theodore Roosevelt – both as a Rough Rider and President.
“Mort Künstler has been one of my favorite military artists for some time,” says Ryan Yantis,
Executive Director of the Pritzker Military Library. “While I was still serving on active duty, we
acquired his print While the Enemy Rests. This print was, and remains, one of my favorites.”
Sample art, advance viewings, and curated showings of this exhibit can be arranged upon request.
For more information, please call (312) 587-0234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pritzker Military Library hosts regular exhibitions of military art and photography in its gallery,
drawing from the work of visiting artists as well as a collection of more than 1000 posters and
prints, and over 6,000 photographs and glass plate negatives. Past exhibitions have included
celebrated artists such as James Dietz, Don Stivers, Steve Mumford, Howard Chandler Christy,
and Kay Smith, Illinois Artist Laureate.
About the Pritzker Military Library
The Pritzker Military Library is a non-partisan, non-profit research institution located at 610 North Fairbanks
Court in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, near the Magnificent Mile. Admission is free and open to
the public, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and also for scheduled evening events.
The mission of the Pritzker Military Library is to acquire and maintain an accessible collection of materials
and develop appropriate programs focusing on the Citizen Soldier in the preservation of democracy. The
5,000 sq. ft. facility features a collection of books and films on subjects covering the full spectrum of
American military history, along with vintage posters, photographs, medals, uniforms, and other artifacts
from private donors and the collection of the Library’s founder, COL (IL) James N. Pritzker, ARNG (Ret.).
Since opening in October 2003, the Pritzker Military Library has produced over 200 programs including
events with award-winning authors, interviews with Medal of Honor recipients, and panel discussions on
military issues hosted by broadcast veteran John Callaway. All programs are presented free of charge in
front of a live audience, webcast live and archived on the Internet, and recorded for later broadcast on
WYCC-TV/Channel 20, a PBS affiliate. Programs are also available as audio podcasts on the Library
website and at iTunes.
To learn more, please visit pritzkermilitarylibrary.org.
External Relations Coordinator
Pritzker Military Library
Pritzker Military Library