Stanley Spielman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved with his family to Atlantic City, New Jersey at the age of 13. His father, a teacher of drawing and portrait painting, served as his chief inspiration and mentor. Although he never had formal art training, Spielman was immersed in a creative environment. Drawing and wood carving were pastimes that helped develop his artistic skills. At age 16 his talents were recognized when he was awarded first place in the Arts and Crafts Department of Atlantic City Senior High School. The winning carving of a duck in flight was crafted from one piece of hardwood and painted in oils. As he matriculated through medical school, the study of human anatomy gave him an unparalleled appreciation and education of the human form. As a second year medical student, he illustrated an infant’s heart deformity during surgery. The illustration was published in the prestigious Journal of Thoracic Surgery. He continued with medical illustrations of surgery and went on to become art editor of the Jefferson Medical College Yearbook.
During his years as a student, Dr. Spielman began to develop an appreciation for “tribal art.” He became equally fascinated with the exotic appearance of the indigenous people who created the art. Along with this interest he craved to visit those people. The opportunity presented itself in 1970 when he visited the Masai People of East Africa and painted his first tribal portrait, “Masai Mother and Child.” When he then became aware that most tribal cultures were vanishing, he became inspired to focus on painting their images, as long as they were still available.
The sparkling oil paintings of the “Vanishing Cultures” collection are museum quality. They have been widely exhibited and published internationally. His powerful style, reminiscent of Renaissance masters, reveals the very soul of endangered tribal people. Dr. Spielman’s many expeditions – from the African plains to the Amazon basin and the New Guinea highlands – over the past 30 years have earned him prominence as an artist and explorer. He is the Chairman of The Southern Florida Chapter of The Explorers Club, a Fellow in The Royal Geographical Society of England. and a member of Cultural Survival, Inc.
He exhibits his portraits and lectures widely about the plight of survival of the “Vanishing Cultures” and loss of their precious images. Cunard, Seabourn and Silversea cruise lines retain him for shipboard enrichment lectures and art presentations across the world.
Dr. Spielman’s first portrait, the proud “Masai Mother and Child,” was prominently displayed in the Bacardi Art Gallery in Miami. In 1972 anthropologist Margaret Mead recognized the superb quality of his “very handsome paintings.” Pan American World Airways “World Wings” sponsored a one-man art show at the Miami Museum of Science in 1984; Hilary Hemmingway introduced his work. The publication “Podium” in 1998 described his portraits and lecture in Washington D.C. as a “convention highlight.” In Washington, D.C. in 1999, the curators of the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American Art, and The Phillip’s Collection, judged his 40-inch bronze sculpture “Spirit of Serengeti,” Best of Show.
ANNOUNCING The public now has an opportunity to own one of Dr. Spielman’s creations with the release of limited edition, hand-embellished Giclee reproductions on canvas.
As a professional enrichment lecturer, Dr. Stanley Spielman is also available to give slide illustrated presentations. His venues have included Explorers Clubs across our country and cruise ships across the world. Lecture titles include “Journey to remote tribes of Western Papua New Guinea” and “Colorful ceremony on the Amazon • The Kuarup Ritual on the Xingu River, Mato Grosso, Brazil”