Renowned for his brilliantly colored paintings, posters and sketches, LeRoy Neiman was perhaps America’s most prolific and recognizable artist of his time. His works celebrated heroes in sports and entertainment and the good life, and remain prominently displayed in major museums and collections around the world.
Neiman was an eye-catching figure himself with his wide mustache and ever-present cigar. And he was a familiar fixture at prize fights, Olympics, Super Bowls and World Series throughout the second half of the 20th century, his drawings often made on the spot.
Celebrating the strong bond between art and athletics, the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center recently opened “LeRoy Neiman’s Fall Classics,” a new exhibit showcasing the iconic artist’s original drawings of World Series subjects, including the Museum’s namesake Yogi Berra.
The exhibit opening coincides with the advent of baseball’s 2016 postseason, and will run through March 2017.
Though Neiman passed away four years ago at age 91, Museum visitors can connect with him by putting on a portable mustache and taking selfies next to a Neiman self-portrait.
The Museum will also honor his commitment to art and excellence with upcoming programs for aspiring sports artists. On Oct. 23, award-winning pencil artist Jerry Winick of Pencilworks in Little Falls, NJ, will conduct a workshop (12 noon to 2:30 p.m.) at the Museum for ages 6-13. And the Montclair Art Museum’s traveling art truck will be on site Nov. 5 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m., for youngsters to create their own masterworks.
The Neiman works were provided by the LeRoy Neiman Foundation and the McMullen Family. Included in the exhibit is a large portrait of the late John McMullen, former owner of the Houston Astros and New Jersey Devils with one of the three Stanley Cups under his stewardship.