William J. Schaldach (1896-1982) Brook Trout signed "Wm J. Schaldach" lower right watercolor, 13 by 16 in.
William Joseph Schaldach was born in Elkhart, Indiana, in 1896. From a young age, he showed great interest in hunting and fishing. Schaldach moved to Michigan with his family in 1908. As a teenager he spent much of his time writing, drawing, and exploring the countryside. An ambitious young man, Schaldach published an article of his own illustrations at the age of nineteen. After high school and a stint in the Navy, William Schaldach attended the Art Students League in New York. He studied the techniques of painting, drypoint, and etching with revered professors John Sloan, George Bridgman, and Harry Wickey. Many of Schaldach’s paintings and etchings reflect his background as a sportsman. His favorite subjects were wildfowl, anglers with fly rods in rivers, streams and lakes, and game fish in the water. Schaldach was employed by the magazine “Forest and Stream” as a managing editor until the late 1930s. He returned to the magazine, then renamed “Field and Stream,” after World War II. In addition to writing many magazine articles about sporting art, Schaldach wrote and illustrated a number of books, including “Fish by Schaldach,” “Currents and Eddies,” “Coverts and Casts,” “Upland Gunning,” and “Path to Enchantment: An Artist in the Sonora Desert,” a book about his own paintings of the Sonora Desert that he had completed between 1948 and 1956. He was also the author of a biography of the well-known wildlife artist, Carl Rungius.
Schaldach was a member of the Society of American Etchers, the Independent Society of Printmakers, and the Salmagundi Club of New York. His work has been exhibited at the Chicago Society of Etchers, the Artists for Victory at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the National Academy of Design, the American Watercolor Society in New York, and in numerous other galleries and museums throughout the country.
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