For Us the Living: the Civil War Art of Mort Künstler

 The South Carolina State Museum is pleased to host an exhibition of the artwork of renowned historical artist Mort Künstler. This show focuses on Künstler’s work on scenes from the Civil War. His meticulously researched and detailed artwork provides a unique glimpse into the war years. It covers the tumult of the battlefield and the everyday drama of the men and women who lived through the turmoil of the most tragic war in U.S. history.

Mort Künstler began his professional art career in the 1950s as an illustrator for adventure magazines, paperback books, and movie posters. Although he is known for his dedication to authentically portraying even the smallest details in his painting, he is equally skilled in using visual effects and technical ability to bring those stories to life. He followed in the tradition and style of other illustrators like Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker. Künstler’s work also fits into the wider American artistic tradition of realism and descriptive literalism. The style of his work compares to artists from the 19th century such as Thomas Moran, Winslow Homer and Frederick Church.