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Stanley Meltzoff bluefin tuna painting sets auction record

October 11, 2010 |  2:34 pm

Meltzoff - bluefin25

Four paintings of game fish by Stanley Meltzoff set unexpected records for the artist's work at the recent Jackson Hole Art Auction, an annual event that specializes in high-end Western art.  

Most noteworthy was "Bluefin at Ballyhoo," an oil-and-acrylic painted by Meltzoff in 1979 that sold for nearly $32,000 -- almost 10 times the pre-sale estimate.  Another Meltzoff painting, titled "White Marlin," from 1986, sold for more than $21,000, four times the pre-sale estimate.

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

Meltzoff was an acclaimed painter of saltwater game fish. Born in New York in 1917, he turned to painting game fish almost exclusively during the latter part of his career, beginning with a commission from Sports Illustrated in 1960. Widely honored throughout his life, Meltzoff ultimately completed more than 350 canvasses before his death in 2006.

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 are still available.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: "Bluefin at Ballyhoo" by Stanley Meltzoff recently sold at auction for about $32,000. Credit: Silverfish Press