Arnold Skolnick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Arnold H. Skolnick (February 25, 1937, Brooklyn, New York) is an American graphic artist, book publisher, movie assistant also the creator of the original 1969 Woodstock poster.

Early life[edit]

Arnold H. Skolnick was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1937. His mother, a competitive game player, Esther Skolnick (née Plotnick) won many bridge trophies, and shuffleboard trophies. His father, Samuel Skolnick, was a typographer at trade, while music was his passion. He played hammond organ, piano, harmonica, mandolin & ukulele. He also sang, was a songwriter, and poet. The young Arnold was fascinated with pretty rainbows in the street left behind by leaking cars. This led him to want to create art for himself. While his father had been unable to make a living through the arts he did all he could to discourage his son from it as well. They were never able to see eye to eye. Although he was proud of his son in later years as Arnold became successful. Arnold graduated as an art major from The High School of Music & Art in 1955. His schooling continued as he attended the Pratt Institute in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Upon completion he worked for Young & Rubicam winning them 12 awards for best 'artistic' ads. While never feeling appreciated there he left to embark on his own company for as an artist his refusal to compromise his professional standards and his vision brought him out of the commercial advertising field, replacing it with art book publishing.

Arnold Skolnick's Original 1969 Woodstock Poster[edit]

Arnold Skolnick's 1969 Woodstock poster is a famous piece of music art of the 20th century. The Woodstock Nation was defined by the poster's image of a white dove perched on the neck of an acoustic guitar.

Woodstock Ventures contracted with Arnold to design an original music and art fair poster which was set to last for 3 days. Arnold's son Peter Skolnick remembers watching his father cut out the words & bird from paper. His son Peter also remembers his father trying out different layouts. Arnold was hired on a Thursday and delivered the poster the following Monday at about 11am. Despite the fact that a lot of money has been made from Skolnick's symbol, he received only one royalty check of about $15. While Arnold Skolnick's artistic ability for design and typography has led to many awards for his publications, many of his design solutions have become famous; perhaps his 1969 and his 40th anniversary Woodstock posters are his most famous.[1]

Book Publishing[edit]

Skolnick next started a company that published, designed, produced mostly art books called Imago Imprint Inc. It was establlshed at 150 Fifth Avenue in New York City led to a number of published books such as: Lightest Blues (Great Humor from the 1930s) and Paul Cadmus. Later his new company Chameleon Books led to many more art books such as: The Lyrical Constructivist: Don Gummer Sculpture, The Girl With The Watering Can, Hyman Bloom, Times Squared (Photographs by Toby Old). He also worked on projects with companies such as: Carl Little, Pomegranate, Down East Books, Potter, Rizzoli, First Glance Books, Chronicle Books, etc.


Arnold worked on titles and credits for To Kill A Mockingbird. He also worked with Linda Yellen as her assistant storyboarder, and with her on Playing For Time (1980) and Prisoner Without A Name, Cell Without A Number (1985).[citation needed]


Over the years Skolnick's drawings, paintings, and photography has led to various exhibitions in Massachusetts at the Oxbow, Michelson & William Baczek Fine Art Galleries and also in various galleries in New York City.


His Art Books Include:

  • Duey's Tale: Pearl Bailey (1975)
  • Nellé (1981)
  • Lightest Blues (Great Humor from the 1930S) (1984)
  • Paul Cadmus (1984)
  • George Tooker (1985)
  • Peter Blume (1987)
  • His Face (1988)
  • Roller (The Paintings of Donald Roller Wilson) (1988)
  • Clarence Holbrook Carter (1989)
  • Isabel Bishop (1989)
  • Jack Levine (1989)
  • The Girl With The Watering Can (1990)
  • Paintings of Maine (1991)
  • The Artist As Native (1993)
  • Childe Hassam's New York (1993)
  • Edward Hopper's New England (1993)
  • Jared French's Myths (1993)
  • Jill's Dogs (Photographs by Jill Freedman) (1993)
  • Paintings of California (1993)
  • Richard Estes (1993)
  • Stuart Davis's Abstract Argot (1993)
  • Yasuo Kuniyoshi's Women (1993)
  • Earth Angels (Migrant Children In America) (1994)
  • Joseph Stella's Symbolism (1994)
  • Paintings of the Southwest (1994)
  • In The Eye Of The Storm: An Art Of Conscience, 1930-1970 (1995)
  • Winslow Homer and the Sea (1995)
  • Hyman Bloom (1996)
  • Paintings of New England (1996)
  • All That Is Glorious Around Us (1997)
  • Art of the Maine Islands (1997)
  • The Book Of Rainbows (1997)
  • David Bowerman (Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture (1997)
  • The Artist and the American Landscape (1998)
  • The Majesty of the Grand Canyon (150 Years in Art) (1998)
  • Rockwell Kent's Forgotten Landscapes (1998)
  • The Unseen Van Gogh (1998)
  • The Lyrical Constructivist: Don Gummer Sculpture (2001)
  • The Art Of Maine in Winter (2002)
  • Times Squared (2002)
  • The Art Of Mohegan Island (2004)
  • Martha Armstrong: Up To Now (2009)


  • 1976 Rolly Michaux Galleries, 943 Madison Avenue, New York, NY
  • 2010 Antique and Artisan Center, Stamford, Conn

Articles and reviews[edit]