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Charmatz, Bill 1925–2005

Charmatz, Bill 1925–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 15, 1925, in New York, NY; died September 4, 2005, in New York, NY. Illustrator, artist, and author. Charmatz was best known for his many illustrations for Sports Illustrated, but he also illustrated for other periodicals and was a painter and muralist. Born to Russian immigrant parents, his given name was Adolph, a name he hated and changed to William—or Bill—by high school. His artistic gifts were evident at a young age, and he attended the High School of Industrial Arts in New York City. During World War II, Charmatz served in the U.S. Navy's graphics unit, where he drew detailed charts. After the war, he worked under Alexey Brodovitch at Harper's Bazaar, then moved to Paris to attend the École des Beaux-Arts and the Grande Chaumière. While in France, Charmatz painted scenes of the cities and of people using watercolors and drawings in ink and gouache; this work led to commissions from such magazines as Time and Esquire. His illustrations for Sports Illustrated during the 1960s and 1970s, however, became his most famous body of work. His deceptively simple line drawings depicted the thrill, comedy, and heartbreak of sports. In the 1960s Charmatz also published the first of several self-illustrated children's books, including The Little Duster (1967) and Endeerments (1971). A founding member of the Illustrators Guild and former vice president of the Graphic Arts Guild, Charmatz saw his work exhibited at such venues as the Art Directors Club and American Institute of Graphic Art in New York City, and he also received commissions to paint murals. In addition, he lent his artistic skills to a variety of advertising campaigns. From 1963 to 1968 Charmatz was a teacher at the New York School of Visual Arts. During his later years, from 1996 to 2004, he composed illustrations for Marilyn Stasio's column in the New York Times Book Review.



Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2005, p. B11.

New York Times, September 10, 2005, p. A15.

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