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Lot # 1604 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1964 Sports Illustrated Original Cover Painting by Bernie Fuchs Arnold Palmer Teeing Off

Starting Bid - $2,500.00 , Sold For - $6,462.50

Since its inception in 1954 Sports Illustrated has been a leader in the field of sports journalism and is one of the most widely read and highly respected magazines published today. In addition to its award-winning journalism, the magazine is also famous for its cover images, nearly all of which showcase the work of the finest photographers and artists of their respective eras. Although the vast majority of cover images today are photographs, during its earlier years the magazine frequently featured paintings by the world's leading illustration artists to catch the reader's eye on the newsstand. Offered here is the original painting for one of the most memorable illustrations ever to grace the magazine's cover: Arnold Palmer Teeing Off , by world-renowned artist Bernie Fuchs, reproduced as the illustration for a special fold-out cover for the June 15, 1964, issue of Sports Illustrated . The painting, rendered in gouache on paper (24.5 x 17 inches), pictures golf-legend Arnold Palmer teeing off as a throng of spectators look on. Signed by Fuchs in the lower left corner. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 30 x 23 inches. A tear sheet of the original cover, as well as a complete copy of the June 15, 1964 issue of Sports Illustrated accompanies the painting. This painting was specially commissioned by Sports Illustrated for use as the cover piece for its issue previewing the 1964 U.S. Open, "The Toughest One to Win." Sports Illustrated fold-out covers are quite rare and although this was not the first such cover published by the magazine, it remains one of the most highly regarded, specifically for the spectacular image created by Fuchs. This painting was purchased by our consignor directly from Sports Illustrated in 1964, and it has remained in his possession since that time.

Bernie Fuchs (1932- ) is one of America's foremost illustrators. He began his career as a commercial artist in Detroit in the mid 1950s, where his company Art Group, produced and designed advertisements for all of the top auto manufacturers. In the late 1950s he moved from Detroit to Connecticut, and with his change of address there came a new direction in his artwork. He began to specialize in illustrations for magazines and quickly established himself as one of the country's premier artists in his field. Over time, his illustrations graced the covers and pages of almost every major magazine, including Sports Illustrated , McCalls , Cosmopolitan , TV Guide , Redbook , and Ladies Home Journal , as well as numerous books. During the course of his long and distinguished career he has received over 100 honors and awards. In 1975, he became the youngest artist ever elected to the Society of Illustrators' prestigious Hall of Fame (an honor also bestowed upon Norman Rockwell, Frederic Remington, and Winslow Homer) and in 1991 was named Sport Artist of the Year by the American Sport Art Museum and Archives. He has also been commissioned to do portraits of many sitting U.S. Presidents, including John F. Kennedy (which now resides in the permanent collection of the Kennedy Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts), Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Numbered among his additional commissioned work are paintings for Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ted Koppel, and Katharine Hepburn. Even the U.S. Postal Service sought out his talent in 1998 when they commissioned illustrations for four U.S. postage stamps (folk musicians Huddie Ledbetter, Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terry, and Josh White.).

Although he has been quite prolific in the field of sports, Fuchs is best known today for his golf illustrations. The offered piece is one of many golf illustrations commissioned from him by Sports Illustrated over the years (his painting of Tony Jackson hitting the key shot to win the U.S. Open at Hazeltine in 1970 is another of his famous cover illustrations) and he recently painted a series for the Players Championship of the famous last three holes of the TPC at Sawgrass, in Florida. He has also produced limited-edition prints for the PGA World Hall of Fame. Sports Illustrated original cover artworks are both rare and highly prized, especially those produced by an artist of Fuchs' standing. This is one of the most prestigious sports illustration artworks we have ever had the privilege to offer and one that is without question a museum-caliber piece. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $6,462.50

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