Shilstone was born in 1922 in Essex County, New Jersey. His
father was a businessman in Wall Street and, after the Great
Crash of the stock market, moved his family to Lake Mahopac
in New York State. This moved served as the impetus for
Shilstone’s life-long interest in hunting and fishing.
During his high school years, Shilstone was encouraged by an
art teacher to consider a career in the art field.
Following his graduation from high school, he enrolled at
the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, an education that was cut
short with the onset of World War II. Shilstone served in
the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion in
Normandy, and while there, continued his pursuit of art by
sketching. At the end of the war, Shilstone returned to
Pratt, and completed his education. He did additional study
at the New School for Social Research. New York City, and
the Brooklyn Museum Art School.
After graduation he pursued a career in illustration in
New York City, where he was eventually discovered by Life
Magazine, with whom he worked for ten years. Shilstone’s
work has appeared in over 30 magazines, including
Smithsonian, National Geographic, Life, Gourmet, Sports
Illustrated, Military History Quarterly, and the
New York Times Magazine. It has also been featured in
ads by national advertising agencies, as well as book
jackets and interior illustrations for leading publishers.
His work has been published in:
Flashes in the River, The Flyfishing Images of Arthur Shilstone and Ed Gray.
His assignments for major United States corporations
include paintings and drawings used in annual reports and
for special projects for U.S. Steel, Exxon, AT&T, Freeport
Mineral Co., AMAX, IBM, Anaconda, St. Joseph Lead Mining
Co., Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co., and Western Electric.
His military and governmental projects have included work
for NASA (seven on-site assignments of the Space Shuttle,
including pictorial coverage of blast offs and landings),
the National Parks Service, Military Air Transport, and the
His collections include: NASA Air & Space Museum,
National Baseball Hall of Fame, Museum of American
Illustration, Collection of the Archives of the City of
Quebec, Canada, and the Sanford Low Collection of American
Illustration at the New Britain Museum of American Art.
Arthur Shilstone is a member of the Watercolor Society
and lives with his wife, Beatrice, in Connecticut in the
Saugatuck River Valley.