Joseph Csatari, Norman Rockwell's Scouting successor, is also an American realist artist and illustrator. Like Rockwell, Csatari illustrated for the Saturday Evening Post, Brown & Bigelow Boy Scout calendars, and Boys' Life magazine covers. His involvement with the Boy Scouts of America has been one of length and dedication.
Csatari was born in 1929 in New Jersey. As a child, he copied the Saturday Evening Post covers of his idol Norman Rockwell. He went on to study art at the Academy of Arts in Newark, New Jersey, and the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
In 1953, Csatari worked for the Boy Scouts as the art director in the Supply Division department. He chose this position in hopes of one day getting to meet Rockwell.
In 1973, Csatari became the art director of Boys' Life magazine. It was at this time that he was also able to work with his idol. Csatari gathered props and models, helping to create preliminary sketches for Rockwell for the Brown & Bigelow calendar covers. Then in 1976, Csatari was chosen by Boy Scouts of America to personally continue creating illustrations for the calendar covers. He did so until 1991 when the calendars were discontinued. Csatari continues the excellent tradition of recording scouting history with annually commissioned oil paintings.
Joseph Csatari's versatility allowed him a wide range of work. He has created art for Reader's Digest, Nabisco, and Chef Boyardee, as well as over 100 book cover illustrations. A notable portrait artist, Csatari has painted more than 10 official portraits for the Boy Scouts of America and for such individuals as First Lady Betty Ford. He has created two commemorative stamps for the United States Postal Service. Csatari has also won many awards, such as the Award for Excellence in Editorial Design from the Society of Illustrators.
Csatari is still actively painting today. He finds his inspiration from real life around him and continues to create modernly relevant paintings. An example of this is the 2003 Boy Scout painting Prepared To Do A Good Turn, which commemorates the reconstruction efforts of Ground Zero. Through his realist style, Csatari has been able to produce amazing authenticity, while at the same time displaying his deep appreciation for American life.
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