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Gerry Dvorak

by on February 19, 2015

Gerry Dvorak, deceased American artist (1913 – 1999).

Gerry Dvorak was born on October 29, 1913 in Larksville, PA, the youngest of ten children. Rather than work the coal mines, as his father and brothers before him, he attended public schools in Edwardsville, PA where both his artistic and athletic talents blossomed. The multi-sport star advanced to Pennsylvania State University on a basketball scholarship. During WWII he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served at sea for a time before his artistic abilities were recognized. He was then transferred to Norfolk Naval Station where he produced training materials and drew cartoons and other artwork for the newspaper. He also pitched for the station’s baseball team and played against major league stars of the day. Following the war he moved to New York and attended the Arts Students’ League and Traphagen School of Fashion and studied illustration. After his professional training, he was one of a handful of promising young artists selected nationwide by Paramount Studios to become an animator. In his seven years with them in New York, he was instrumental in the success of their movie theater productions of Popeye and Casper cartoons, among others. From there he moved on to Hanna- Barbera where he animated the highly successful prime-time television series The Flintstone’s as well as Yogi Bear, Superman and Wonder Woman. He also spent time working on the acclaimed Mr. Magoo series with U.P.A. Toward the end of his animation period he worked in advertising at Perpetual Motion Studios. Dvorak moved to Miami Beach, FL, where he became a free lance portrait and wildlife artist as well as a painting instructor. His striking illustration of a rare exotic white tiger hangs in the collection of the Maharajah of Rewa, India. In 1978 Gerry connected with the Arnot Gallery in New York City representing his wildlife paintings. Abercrombie & Fitch also offered his wildlife paintings for sale in their gallery. Dvorak returned to New Jersey and settled in Old Bridge where he remained until 1994 when he moved to Farmington, Connecticut.

While working as an animator, he also painted the original artwork for much of the renowned 1953 Topps baseball cards. This work would be largely forgotten until the 1980’s when sports memorabilia became a desirable collectable. His 5”x7” original of Mickey Mantle was purchased by Marriott at auction for $121,000 in 1992. Dvorak became a highly sought celebrity on the sports collectable circuit and was featured on Mel Allen’s ”This Week in Baseball” television show as well as in numerous industry publications such as Sports Collectors Digest, Baseball Cards Magazine, Baseball Hobby News, Legends Sports Memorabilia and others. He was commissioned to paint dozens of portraits of celebrity athletes which were also autographed by the athletes in many cases. He collaborated directly with Mickey Mantle, Eric Davis and other baseball players to produce limited edition lithographs.
Gerry Dvorak died in September of 1999.

The shown images are all original oil paintings by Gerry Dvorak, purchased directly from Gerry Dvorak, and are available for purchase at Arnot Gallery with a Certificate of Authenticity.

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