To commemorate the 10th anniversary of American Masters at the Salmagundi Club, this year eight exhibiting artists have been given the distinction of Living Legend and will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement award during the Living Legends Live event on Saturday, October 13.

Those eight artists are presented here, along with a Legend Look Back image from their early career. All of the artists have not only been important to American Masters but have also made innumerable contributions to the realist-art community over the last several decades. We honor and thank these painters and teachers for their lifelong commitment to the arts.

Price $35 ($25 for members)

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* Will not be present.


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This was my entry painting to Outdoor Life Magazine in August 1959. At that time the magazine was in the process of selecting an artist to illustrate their series “The Big Game Animals of North America,” written by noted hunting editor Jack O’Connor. A number of artists submitted works. I was the lucky one chosen, and my career as a magazine and book illustrator was established. - Douglas Allen


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 I painted Stretching Canvas in 1956 when I was 25. My father Abraham Ginsburg — a portrait painter who studied at and won many awards from the National Academy of Design in New York — posed for me as he was stretching a canvas in his studio. He was a valuable role model, someone who taught me traditional realism at a time when skill-based training was unavailable at art schools and universities. His basic palette and approach, with minor changes, has stayed with me all these years, and I continue to pass them on to my students. - Max Ginsburg


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I was commissioned by The Art Students League of New York to do a portrait of my friend Robert Beverly Hale for their collection. Hale was a famous teacher of anatomy and drawing for more than 50 years and was the first Curator of American Painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The sittings took place in my studio on West 67th Street, in New York City. - Daniel E. Greene

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At the of age 15, I had been drawing comic books and illustrating for more than a decade. My mentor, artist James Montgomery Flagg, created the famous “I Want YOU for U.S. Army” Uncle Sam poster. He encouraged me to paint portraits. When I was 30 years old, I portrayed him. The painting is owned by the Smithsonian, National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, DC. - Everett Raymond Kinstler


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I painted this work, I believe, in 1967. It was one of a series of large studio paintings I was doing at that time. For me, this work was enormous — the largest painting I had ever done.  What made it possible was that it was done mostly in Eddie’s studio, which was 40 x 50 feet with a 16-foot ceiling. My own studio paled by comparison, being only 10 x 14 feet with an 8-foot ceiling. If I had not been able to paint it in his studio, psychologically, it would have made painting it a daunting task.

Looking at it today, there are elements of the composition that work nicely and parts where I can now see I didn’t understand how to solve the problems any better. But, as I have always said, the beauty of painting is that it is always a process of learning. 
- David A. Leffel


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This is one of several studies I did of Michelle in 1978, and I still think it is a very strong painting. If I had to do it again today, it would be quite the same, except that I would use the refinements of color and brushing that I have acquired over the years. I am glad to have this painting included in this fine exhibition. - Richard Schmid


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 This is a painting of a good friend who was pregnant and experiencing some of the reflective doubts and anxieties about her upcoming childbirth. Originally I had painted her husband seated beside her, hunched over as he played his banjo, absorbed in his own world. But doubts crept in that it would seem to be about a sentimentally charming "romantic" event and clearly not the narrative I intended. So, to the consternation of both of them, I eliminated him from the painting. This permitted me to focus on her and the complexity of her circumstance while emphasizing the elegant black form of her dress in the contrasting whiteness of the room.   

I hadn't looked at the photo in such a long while that at first view the painting seemed stronger and more evocative than I remembered it. I can't tell from the photograph, but I would have painted the warm colors in the shadow parts of her face and body a little less harshly, and with attention to more nuanced values. But the work, done in the 1980s when I was far less skillful than I am now, holds up quite well.
 - Burton Silverman


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One of the final exams at England’s Derby College of Art was to create a composition with six or more people involved in an activity. A bakery not more than 200 yards from the college immediately came to mind, as I had been dropping in to visit the night shift and was fascinated by the workings and ‘goings-on’ there. 

The bakery ignited my enthusiasm and was a phenomenal experience I’ll never forget — even down to the finest details. It had only three overnight staff, so I had to double them up and trebled one so I had seven people in all. The Bakery was the result.  Having The Bakery along with Irongate, Derby in my portfolio secured my acceptance into the Royal Academy Schools. - John Stobart