Mel Kishner (1915-1991)
Milwaukee Journal and Sentinal illustrator and art director for forty years; born in Milwaukee; lived in Pewaukee, WI; died in Arizona He is best known for his watercolor works depicting Midwestern winter landscapes and Arizona landscapes. One series was of the 1871 Peshtigo fire created to accompany the Journal's serialized verison of the book, Fire at Peshtigo. Kishner was born in Milwaukee and attended Wisconsin State Teachers College, now known as the University of Wisconsin. He received a bachelor of science degree in art education. He spent some time teaching art in Milwaukee Public Schools and also taught some programs for the University of Wisconsin. In 1940, he joined the staff at the Milwaukee Journal and Sentinel as an illustrator, where he often did the illustrations for covers to television sections, cartooning and caricatures. He also was widely known for the deer hunting cartoons he drew for an annual hunting section. He, also, did caricatures of actors he met when they came to Milwaukee to play in a summer theater, such actors include Leonard Nimoy, Rita Moreno and Arte Johnson. He became art director for the papers in 1970 and supervised a 26-person art department. He retired in 1978 after 38 years, and he and his wife, Jane, moved to Tucson. He continued his painting and added desert landscapes to his well-known collection of winter illustrations. Kishner specialized in watercolor and acrylic painting and during the course of his lifetime saw his work displayed in more than 100 private shows in the Midwest and Tucson. His paintings also have hung in private collections and public gallettes.