Tuna painting sets auction record

Stanley Meltzoff's Bluefin at Ballyhoo recently sold for 10 times its pre-auction estimate. 

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. -- Four exquisite game fish paintings by premier artist Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006) all set unexpected records at the recent Jackson Hole Art Auction.

Most noteworthy was Bluefin at Ballyhoo, a picture done by Meltzoff in 1979 that sold for nearly $32,000, almost 10 times the pre-sale estimate and reflects a surging interest in this artist's extraordinary work.

Another Meltzoff painting titled White Marlin - 1986 sold for more than $21,000, or four times the pre-sale estimate.

These results were especially noteworthy in that the annual Jackson Hole auction is primarily a vehicle for western art and rarely deals in other genres.

Meltzoff was the first and remains indisputably the finest saltwater game fish painter of all time.

Born in New York, his early career included a classical education in the arts followed by four years as a correspondent for The Stars and Stripes army newspaper during WWII. Upon returning stateside in 1945, he taught at the prestigious Pratt Institute before establishing himself as a leading commercial artist and illustrator.

Beginning with a commission from Sports Illustrated in 1960, he turned to painting game fish almost exclusively during the latter part of his career, ultimately completing more than 350 canvasses.

Today Meltzoff originals hang in museums and private collections around the world. Widely honored throughout his life, Meltzoff's death in 2006 stilled a brush that will never be equaled.

In 2009, a book on Meltzoff's life and work was published by Silverfish Press, and a few of his originally signed and numbered lithographs still remain available.

For more information, visit www.silverfishpress.com.