<font color="#808080">STEINER, Robert M.</font>

More Robert Steiner:    Federal Duck Stamp Print 

1949 - )

If any single artist deserves the title, King of the Duck Stamps, it is Bob Steiner. So far, he has designed forty-five state duck stamps, including three first-of-state (1989 Rhode Island, 1990 Colorado, and 1991 New Mexico), and now, the 1998 Federal.

Robert Marc Steiner was born in Philadelphia, on October 10, 1949, the only one of five boys to be artistically inclined. His father would have preferred that he follow a career in finance, but while still in high school he won an art scholarship to the school of his choice. He earned his degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and completed his masters degree at San Francisco State.

Bob's family moved to Florida when he was just a youngster, and while in high school he became an accomplished surfer. He had two very close calls while surfing. Once, he "wiped out" on a coral reef but instead of being cut to ribbons, a swell carried his body over the coral to the safety of deeper water. The other, he was paddling on his surfboard when he realized that he was in the midst of a school of barracuda. He barely managed to get his hands clear of the water as the predatory fish swam under his surfboard.

After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, he decided to hop a freight train to the west coast. He met two other men about his age in the freight yard and they decided to travel together. Once, while the train was stopped, he went inside to wash up, and on his return he realized that the train was already pulling out and had reached a speed which made it difficult to catch. He caught the flatbed on which his two companions were riding and leaped for their outstretched hands. It was only after they pulled him onto the flatbed, that he realized that had he missed, he would have fallen onto the tracks and under the wheels.

Another time, he and his companions went to sleep in an empty refrigerator car. The refrigeration unit was turned off, so they left the door open for fresh air. Not knowing that anyone was inside, someone closed the door from the outside. They began making as much noise as they could, but it was twenty-four hours before anyone heard them. The men who released them told them that it is not unusual for empty refrigerator cars to be parked and locked for as long as three or four months at a time.

Upon arriving in California, he rented an apartment and began free-lancing his art on the street and illustrating for various magazines. He also taught art at the College of Marin, West Valley College, San Francisco City College, Osborne College, and many others.

For nearly ten years, Bob's life was a duke's mixture of studying, teaching part-time, and free-lancing for magazines. In the fall of 1978 he decided to go on a hike organized by the Sierra Club into the Oakland Hills area. While on the hike he met Claire "Boots" Whitmer, a newly-minted attorney, and the attraction was mutual. Four years later they were married. They have two children, Marc and Katie.

The Steiners are quite proud of restoring their residence, a1912, Edwardian house right in the city of San Francisco. It was constructed shortly after the great earthquake and has wood-paneled rooms, high ceilings, and a back yard large enough to attract a good deal of wildlife.

Bob's hobbies are downhill skiing, duck hunting, fishing, and stamp collecting. He is a better than average skier and a good wingshot on ducks. His favorite quarry for fishing is salmon and he is quite successful at it. His biggest prize, though, is the six-foot long sturgeon which he landed after waiting in one spot for two and a half hours for the tide to be just right.

Bob and his family visited Italy prior to starting his duck stamp entry. They toured Venice, went to the Sistine Chapel, and saw as many of the masterpieces of western art as time allowed. On their return, Bob was so energized by the art which he saw, that it actually helped him with his duck stamp entry. The "adrenaline rush" paid off. There is no question that the duck stamp design world hasn't heard the last of Bob Steiner.

Russell Fink Gallery P. O. Box 250 Lorton, VA 22199
Voice: 703-550-9699 Fax: 703-339-6150