Mort Kunstler - Legends of Pulp Magazine Art vol.2

I Fought the Sea Killer, 1956. Art by Mort Kunstler
I Fought the Sea Killer, 1956. Art by Mort Kunstler
MEN 1967-12-Dec. Art by Mort Kunstler.
MEN 1967-12-Dec. Art by Mort Kunstler.
Stag cover art by Mort Kunstler.
Stag cover art by Mort Kunstler.
Male magazine. Art by Mort Kunstler.
Male magazine. Art by Mort Kunstler.
For Men Only 1959. Art by Mort Kunstler
For Men Only 1959. Art by Mort Kunstler

Mort Kunstler 'the premier historical artist in America’ is now more famous for his Civil War paintings but this hub will be a pictorial tribute to his early work for men's adventure magazines.

Dutch-born Mort Kunstler was born in 1931, studying art at Brooklyn College he worked in New York as a freelance artist contributing artwork for magazine and book publishers.

In the 1950’s he produced action-packed cover art for men’s adventure magazines like Stag, Male, True Adventures and For Men Only. He produced covers for Classic Illustrated and Mad Magazine.

He also worked on posters for movies like – The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) and Breakheart Pass (1975).

By the 70’s Mort’s work had attracted the attention of art collectors and his paintings started appearing in art galleries.

His interest in Civil War art began when he worked on a painting for the TV drama The Blue and the Gray. The finished painting was displayed at Gettysburg National Park Museum on the battle’s 125th anniversary.

Interviewed by the website MensPulpMags.com Mort had this to say about his early work on magazine covers –

MPM.com - Mort, you did a lot of history-related cover paintings and illustrations for men’s adventure magazines in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Did that help prepare you for your later historic paintings, like your Civil War art?

MORT - Oh yes, there’s no way I could have done what I’m doing today if I hadn’t had all that men’s adventure magazine work in the 1950s and 1960s. I learned how to compose, how to tell a story. The work I did for the men’s adventure magazines helped prepare me for all of the work I did later, including advertising art and movie posters and historical paintings.

Kunstler’s artwork has been the subject of several books most recently - For Us the Living: The Civil War in Paintings and Eyewitness Accounts (Sterling 2010).

Most of Kunstler’s artwork are oil on canvas paintings, they can be bought as limited edition prints at art galleries and through the world wide web.

Art by Mort Kunstler
Art by Mort Kunstler
Bank Vault Heist, 1968. Art by Mort Kunstler
Bank Vault Heist, 1968. Art by Mort Kunstler
Holding Them Off at the Cantina, 1965. Art by Mort Kunstler
Holding Them Off at the Cantina, 1965. Art by Mort Kunstler
The Giant Manta-Ray, February 1956. Art by Mort Kunstler
The Giant Manta-Ray, February 1956. Art by Mort Kunstler
Nine to Go, 1968. Art by Mort Kunstler
Nine to Go, 1968. Art by Mort Kunstler
For Men Only, August, 1970. Art by Mort Kunstler
For Men Only, August, 1970. Art by Mort Kunstler
The Poseidon Adventure 1972. Art by Mort Kunstler
The Poseidon Adventure 1972. Art by Mort Kunstler

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Comments 6 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I remember the poster for The Poseiden Adventure. I've never seen any of these magazines on magazine racks. I'm not sure if that means that they do not exist anymore or if they just aren't sold in stores I'm in.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

I'm not sure if those magazines are still printed, the ones I posted date back more than 40 or 50 years.

The oldest magazine I have in my collection is the very first issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland dated 1958.

Thanks for posting Flora.


RussBGrant profile image

RussBGrant 5 years ago from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Two covers about rotting meat? Must have been a real problem in the 50's!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

Hey you're right, didn't see that. Was too busy looking at the artwork! :)

Oi Russ when are you going to create a hub? You've been here 8 months for chrisssakes! Can't be that difficult. You can write so fast and freely on our forum, doesn't have to be a work of art. People write a few lines of rhyming words and it gets published here.

(Russell and I have been members of the home theater forum for about a decade now.)


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Very nicely done....I had to google him to find the Civil War photos you mention...which I did in fact recognize a couple of the paintings. Great selection of art that you have selected for the hub....awesome detail...and some look like scenes from Bond movies. The Poseidon Adventure poster is a great poster...too bad they do not make posters like that anymore. Thanks for introducing me to the world of Mort Kunstler and the rotten meat problem back in the 1950s....Voted up, awesome and beautiful....I see you are getting close to 100 hubs...good job on that as well.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Bruce, your comments and quips are always appreciated mon ami. :)

Come to think of it Kunstler would have been a great choice for the 60's Bond posters. I added links to more of his artwork somewhere on here. I'd like to get my hands on some of these magazines, and read more about the rotten meat dilemma.

100 hubs gosh, I could be celebrating this week if I was adept at poetry. [wink]

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