Brothers team up to document father's work as famed bird artist

Jun 06, 2017

Thumbnail for Brothers team up to document father's work as famed bird artist
Thumbnail for Brothers team up to document father's work as famed bird artist

Photo of Arthur Singer by L. Eiger

An illustrated biography that offers a profound review of the life and work of a famed bird artist and was co-authored by his sons, one being a CIAS faculty member, will be released this summer by publisher RIT Press.

As a wildlife painter and illustrator specializing in birds, Arthur Singer’s work appeared in numerous publications, including over 20 books, and commemorative U.S. postage stamps that were wildly popular in the 1980s.

The well-documented details — as well as the lesser-known ones, like his secretive role in the U.S. Army during World War II — of Singer’s life are captured in the upcoming book, Arthur Singer: The Wildlife Art of an American Master. The thorough profile of Singer (1917-90) was written by Arthur’s sons, Alan and Paul Singer, who tell their father’s story in compelling words and images of his own art.

Alan is a professor in RIT’s School of Art, where he has taught for over 28 years, while Paul owns a graphic design business.The brothers’ near-three-year process of gathering facts about their father and collecting his artwork, some pieces going unpublished until now, and organizing it into this informational, aesthetic work was described as “a labor of love.”

The fascinating biography isn’t the only upcoming treat for art and/or Arthur Singer enthusiasts to enjoy.

An exhibition possessing the book’s namesake and featuring original illustrations and paintings by Arthur is slated to open Aug. 7 in University Gallery. The extensive show will be curated by Alan and remain on view until Oct. 28. An opening reception is set for 5-7 p.m. Sept. 8 in the gallery.

RIT Press plans for the release of the publication honoring Arthur to coincide with the exhibit’s start, as copies are scheduled to become available Aug. 7. A presale will go up on rit.edu/press in July.

Perhaps Arthur’s most recognized art was affixed to stamps across the country in the 1980s. With the help of Alan, Arthur painted the state birds and flowers of all 50 states for a U.S. postage stamp series that was released in 1982. It was one of the largest-selling special stamp issues in U.S. Postal Service history.

Readers will receive a look into that experience and so much more in The Wildlife Art of an American Master.

The book is devoted to surveying Arthur’s entire career. It includes a look at his involvement in “The Ghost Army,” a top-secret unit that employed visual deception against its enemies during World War II, rare sketches of American jazz musicians like Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway and overall phenomenal body of work compiled throughout his successful run as a wildlife artist.