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Did You Know...?
Little Known Facts About Mort Künstler

Patty Hearst

...Mort did this illustration for Newsweek of the arraignment of Patty Hearst?

This painting appeared in the September 29, 1975 issue of Newsweek and was designed to be a cover. No photographers were allowed in the courthouse during the arraignment. Ms. Hearst was captured on a Thursday evening and the news magazine had a Friday deadline which would give them just enough time to make it to the newsstands on Monday. Künstler and his wife, Deborah, went out to dinner that night. When they returned home, the phone was ringing off the hook. It was Bob Engle, the cover editor at the time. As soon as Künstler picked up the phone, Engle shouted, “Where have you been? They’ve caught her!” Künstler, of course, did not know what he was talking about. When Engle explained the situation, he asked Künstler if he could do a painting of the cover, due the next afternoon. Künstler said “yes.” Newsweek sent a taxi from New York City out to Oyster Bay with pre-capture photographs. With those photos and a verbal description of an eyewitness at the arraignment, Künstler was asked to show Ms. Hearst with the “Black Power” salute. The information and photos did not arrive at Künstler’s home until 11:30 p.m. on Thursday. Künstler stayed up all night and finished the painting by 3:30 p.m. on Friday. A limousine sent by Newsweek was waiting in his driveway to take him the thirty miles into New York City in rush-hour traffic. When he arrived, Engle told Künstler that there was more information now available. In Newsweek’s art department, Künstler made many changes, among them, adding the stripes to Ms. Hearst’s shirt, changing her hair style, making her more chiseled looking, adding sunglasses. After the editors approved the changes, all based on the verbal description, everyone was delighted with the result. Künstler went home thinking that everything was set. As it turned out, a photographer got a shot of Ms. Hearst through the window of the car that was taking her away from the courthouse. This was used as the cover and Künstler’s painting was used inside the magazine to illustrate the feature article. Ms. Hearst was correctly depicted, as were the stripes on her shirt! The original painting is in the permanent collection of the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences.

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Did You Also Know...?

...Mort Künstler did the painting for this April 1964 cover of Boy’s Life?

...Mort Künstler painted this picture of German counterfeiters during World War II?

...Blind Date by Berta Ruck was one of the first book jackets Mort Künstler did - fresh out of art school?

...Mort Künstler painted this jaguar and cub in 1974?

...Mort Künstler did this painting of Jack Dempsey?

...Mort Künstler painted the First Rollout of the Enterprise? It was the first painting of the major commission from Rockwell International and NASA to record the development, launch and touchdown of the first Space Shuttle, Columbia.

...Mort Künstler painted the cover for Trail Smoke by Ernest Haycox?

...the cover painting for the Doc Savage book Brand of the Werewolf was painted by Mort Künstler?

...Mort Künstler did this painting for the advertising campaign for Bacchus, the after-shave?

...Mort Künstler did many paintings of the war in Vietnam?

...Mort Künstler painted this cover for Lucinda Marries the Doctor by Elizabeth Seifert? This was just one of the many covers he did for Elizabeth Seifert’s “Doctor” series.

...Mort Künstler did this cover painting for Los Conquistadores?

...Governor James Gilmore declared March 18, 1999 Mort Kunstler Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia?

...Mort did this illustration for Newsweek of the arraignment of Patty Hearst?

...Mort Künstler did his first military drawing at the age of seven?

...Mort Künstler painted this watercolor of Lindbergh’s famous first flight across the Atlantic?

...Mort Künstler painted this threshing scene in 1974?

...Mort Künstler did three paintings for the movie The Taking of Pelham 123?

...Mort Künstler did this drawing of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton for Dinosaur Story?

...Mort Künstler painted the box cover art for Aurora of the Blue Knight?

...Mort Künstler illustrated The Field and Stream Guide to Upland Game Birds, by Clare Cloney?

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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.