Steranko and the American Hero

March 13, 2022 - May 29, 2022
Butler Institute of American Art poster for Steranko and the American Hero with photos of different superheroes

About The Art

The Butler Institute of American Art is proud to announce the Premiere Exhibition of more than 60 select paintings visualizing the most popular and prominent heroes dominating the current international entertainment scene. Across all mediums, from the cinema to comics, STERANKO was cited by Stan Lee as one of the prime architects of the Marvel Universe; the co-creator of NICK FURY, AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D.; and the artist-writer of CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE HULK, SUPERMAN, and THE X-MEN (for which he designed the classic title logo). He generated more than 150 original storytelling devices and techniques that changed the direction of the comics’ medium, and evolved a devoted cult of followers who nicknamed him The Innovator.

As a musician, he gigged with Bill Haley in the early days of rock ‘n’ roll; as a pop-culture icon, he appeared at more than 400 events and exhibited his work worldwide, including at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and the Louvre in Paris. His two volumes of THE STERANKO HISTORY OF COMICS have sold more than 100,000 copies each. As an escape artist, his death defying performances inspired the character Mister Miracle and, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon, he was the man upon whom the protagonist of THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & KLAY was based; and more—designer, historian, magician, photographer, ad-agency art director, sideshow fire-eater, male model, typographer…the list goes on.

Steranko has painted a multitude of movie posters, record albums, and book covers; and in 1975, created RED TIDE, the First Modern Graphic Novel. As the editor-publisher of the international newsstand entertainment magazine PREVUE, he conducted hundreds of superstar interviews and penned more than three million words. He numbers among his friends and associates writers Mickey Spillane, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ray Bradbury, and directors Federico Fellini, John Huston, and Orson Welles.

As a filmmaker, he collaborated with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas—for whom he created the look of Indiana Jones—and Francis Ford Coppola on some of their most popular films. His recent covers on ACTION 1000 and DETECTIVE 1000 set sales records. Recent polls cite Steranko as the 5th Most Influential Creator in the history of the narrative art form. He set what might be a world’s record for visualizing more classic fictional heroic characters—including Luke Skywalker, The Spider, Sherlock Holmes, the Fantastic Four, Mike Hammer, the Green Hornet, James Bond, Batman, Han Solo, the Phantom, Sam Spade, Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Conan, Doc Savage, Buck Rogers, and The Shadow (for which he painted 30 book covers)—than any other artist. All, and more, will be represented in the 2022 Spring Exhibit.

This is the work of STERANKO his fans never knew existed!

Admission to the museum and exhibition is free.

A limited number of signed and unsigned exhibition posters are available for purchase through The Butler Museum Store. The exhibition catalog is sold out. Phone 234-228-8502 to purchase.

STERANKO AND THE AMERICAN HERO is sponsored in part by Mahoning County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau – Youngstown Live.

Make your visit to see the exhibition a complete adventure and stay a while to enjoy other Mahoning County attractions! Click here for information on hotel accommodations.

CATEGORIES: Exhibition

DATE: March 13, 2022 - May 29, 2022

LOCATION: MacIntosh Gallery, 2nd Floor

RECEPTION: April 9th, 2022 6-8pm

Selected Works


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