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Paleontological Research Institution
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(Ithaca, N.Y.) October 26th, 2016

The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) and its Museum of the Earth are proud to present their new exhibition, Into the Depths: Marine Paintings by Stanley Meltzoff. Featuring 26 original oil paintings, the exhibition focuses on the artistry of award-winning sporting painter Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006). Regarded as a pioneering painter of sport fish, Meltzoff won national acclaim for his work which has appeared in Sports Illustrated, National Geographic and Field & Stream.

Born in Brooklyn in 1917 and spending much of his time in coastal New Jersey, Meltzoff is renowned for his career in commercial art and illustration. During WWII, he served as an illustrator for The Stars and Stripes newspaper. Meltzoff went on to receive national acclaim for his work in commercial art and illustration. Meltzoff was recognized more than 25 times by the Society of Illustrators and Society of Animal Artists for his works, and was elected into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1999.


Pictured above: “Broadbill, Mako, Lancetfish, Sea Arrows; in the Glow of the Cyalumes”; image courtesy of Silverfish Press.

“Stanley Meltzoff combined two of his favorite pastimes: scuba diving and oil painting,” according to Beth Stricker, PRI Director of Exhibitions. “[Meltzoff] was one of the earliest adopters of underwater photography technology, which allowed him to capture rare moments while he was diving and then translate them into dynamic, realistic imagery.”

Meltzoff’s subjects are primarily major game fish, including marlin, bluefish, tuna, striped bass, sharks, and additional fauna found in their natural habitats in Atlantic, Caribbean, and Australian shorelines and deep water. All of the paintings belong to private collectors, providing a unique exhibit that would otherwise have remained unseen by the public.

The exhibit is of great value not only for its realistic depictions of aquatic life, but also as a collection that will serve broader purposes as local and global environments change over time. According to Stricker, “[Meltzoff] witnessed and documented environments that were and are changing as a result of climate change and overfishing. His collection of detailed sketches and paintings are a record of our oceans at a certain point in time; in a future where our oceans may look very different, his work will stand as an archive of the past.”

Into the Depths is now open and will be on display through May 2017. The Museum of the Earth is located at 1259 Trumansburg Road in Ithaca, NY. For more information, please visit

About the Paleontological Research Institution

The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) pursues and integrates education and research, and interprets the history and systems of the Earth and its life, to increase knowledge, educate society, and encourage wise stewardship of the Earth. PRI is the host of two public venues in Ithaca, NY, the Museum of the Earth and the Cayuga Nature Center, and is an affiliate of Cornell University.

For additional information, contact our Communications Department at (607) 273-6623 x126, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..