Forget the frigid winter – there is bigger news for northeastern sportsmen.  The Bruce Museum’s latest exhibition Lure of the Ocean: The Art of Stanley Meltzoff, will now open on February 9, 2013. The exhibition features some thirty oil paintings by Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006), universally hailed as the first and finest artist to realistically portray major game fish species in their natural habitats.

Painstakingly gathered from private collectors around the country, many of these scenes have never before been on public view.  Meltzoff was a prodigious talent, widely celebrated during his career and repeatedly published throughout the sporting press.  His subjects included billfish, bluefish, striped bass, permit, tuna, and many other big game species from all the tropic seas.  The exhibition also features mounted specimens, including Meltzoff’s own world record 65-pound striped bass taken in 1963, and reflects his profound affinity for the beauty and vitality of marine life.

Spanning more than 70 years, Meltzoff’s career touched many genres.  Born in New York City, Meltzoff received a classical education in the arts before joining The Stars and Stripes Army newspaper as a correspondent and illustrator during World War II.   His work thereafter was much in demand, gracing the covers of The Saturday Evening Post, Field & Stream, Scientific American, and countless other publications.  When the popularity of classical illustrations waned in the 1960s, he combined his artistic skill with a passion for diving to create a breathtaking series of gamefish paintings for Sports Illustrated.   Their publication was a huge success, and the artist never looked back.  While his death in 2006 stilled a brush that will never be equaled, Stanley Meltzoff’s work continues to speak for itself as the very best of its kind.

The exhibition Lure of the Ocean: The Art of Stanley Meltzoff is supported by Steve and Ingrid McMenamin and the Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund.

Image courtesy Bruce Museum

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