Benjamin “Ben” Stahl was an American painter, illustrator, lithographer, lecturer and teacher. Born in Chicago, he spent the first part of his career there. By age 20 he had exhibited in the Art Institute of Chicago’s International Water Color Show. In the 1930s he began a highly successful career as an illustrator. He sold his first illustration to the Saturday Evening Post in 1933 and published over 750 illustrations in that publication alone over the course of his career, including those he did for C. S. Forester’s famous ”Hornblower” series. In the ’30s and ’40s he received numerous prizes from the Chicago Guild of Freelance Artists, the Chicago Federation Advertising Club, and the Art Directors Club of Chicago. He illustrated several limited editions of classic novels, including Little Women, Madame Bovary, and Gone with the Wind. Stahl’s paintings were shown in museums and galleries across the U.S. including the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. In 1949, Mr. Stahl helped found the Famous Artists Schools of Westport, Connecticut, a correspondence institute offering home art instruction, whose faculty included Norman Rockwell, Al Parker and others. Of Stahl, Rockwell said, “We are but illustrators, but Ben Stahl is among the masters.” Stahl was honored with the National Academy of Design’s Saltus Gold Medal in 1952. By 1959 he was living in Sarasota, Florida, where he spent the rest of his life. He wrote and illustrated Blackbird’s Ghost, winner of the 1966 Sequoia Book Award, which was made into a Walt Disney film. Stahl was elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1979.
Condition: Generally very good with only minor overall wear and handling. Few minor abrasions and scratches to painted surface, unobtrusive.
Gilbert, Dorothy B., ed. Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts and R.R. Bowker, 1959. p. 542.
Rosenblum, Ira. “Ben Stahl, Illustrator, is Dead; A Founder of Artists School.” New York Times. 24 October 1987. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/10/24/obituaries/ben-stahl-illustrator-is-dead-a-founder-of-artists-school.html (19 July 2016).