Art Showcase

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The Art of Mort Künstler / Original Paintings / /

The focus of numerous one-man shows at major museums and galleries across the country, Mort Künstler's original paintings offer us the opportunity to appreciate both America's history, as well as the rare talents of one of its great artists. For information about purchasing one of these works of art, contact or call 516.624.2830 Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

First Nuclear Fission Scientist Team – original painting SOLD

Historical Information
In 1934 the Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard formulated a theory of a nuclear reaction chain reaction with limitless power, and took out a patent of the idea. By that time, physicists everywhere were working feverishly on the problem of splitting the atom to create unprecedented power. When Hitler launched his crusade to conquer the world, he assigned physicists the task of making an atomic bomb. Fearful that the atomic bomb would give Hitler certain victory, Leo Szilard urged his associate Albert Einstein to warn President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of this immeasurable threat. Roosevelt responded promptly by creating the Manhattan Project to make the bomb. The masterminds of the project were recruited largely from Europe – Nils Bohr from Denmark, Albert Einstein from Germany, Enrico Fermi from Italy, Leo Szilard from Hungary, and nearly one hundred other scientists recruited from a dozen countries. The group worked out the scientific and engineering problems and produced the first atomic chain reaction on December 2, 1942. On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was exploded at Los Alamos, with a force that astonished even its makers. When Churchill heard the news, he exclaimed prophetically, "This is the Second Coming – in wrath."

Soon after atomic bombs were exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Albert Einstein made this statement:
"The time has come now, when man must give up war. It is no longer rational to solve international problems by resorting to war. Now that an atomic bomb, such as the bombs exploded at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, can destroy a city, kill all the people in a city, a small city the size of Minneapolis, say, we can see that we must now make use of man's powers of reason, in order to settle disputes between nations. In accordance with the principles of justice we must develop international law, strengthen the United Nations, and have peace in the world from now on."

Pictured from left to right: Nils Bohr, Enrico Fermi, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Albert Einstein.

Date Created: 1985

Medium: gouache

Image Size: 12" x 14"

Signature Location: lower right


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 © 2001-2022. 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.