Birthday Party - Whimsical Still Life by Artist Stuart DunkelJTG #: 50698
8" X 14 Oil on Panel Framed
Painter and musician Stuart Dunkel grew up in Fairlawn, New Jersey, the youngest son of two psychologists. His interest in art emerged in early childhood, but an art education class that his mother enrolled him in at age five proved to be a “horrible experience”. In the short term, that was the end of the young Dunkel’s interest in art. His attention turned to music, specifically to the clarinet which ultimately led him to a successful career as a classical musician.
Throughout his school years, Dunkel focused almost exclusively on music, and by the time he reached high school, his teacher and mentor designed a unique musical curriculum tailored to his development as a musician. By that time, Dunkel had shifted from the clarinet to the oboe. After graduation, he received a scholarship to Boston University where he soon realized that his high school teacher had given him a far more thorough foundation in music and music history than most of his classmates.
Dunkel’s years at Boston University proved to be an important springboard for his career. One of the coaches for the music program worked in human resources for the Boston Symphony Orchestra; and when there was a need for a substitute oboist at the Symphony, he asked Dunkel to step in. For a young musician, this was a rare opportunity, both to learn from experienced musicians and to develop a fuller understanding about participating in an internationally acclaimed symphony orchestra.
Following his college graduation in 1975, Dunkel was immediately hired as the full-time oboist for the Boston Opera Company, and he also continued working as a contractor for the Symphony. Unfortunately, the Opera Company’s financial stability diminished over the course of the 1970s and early 1980s, leading Dunkel to leave Boston to pursue his career elsewhere. In the opening years of the 1980s, he worked as the solo oboe for the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony. Subsequently, he moved to New York to attend the Mannes College of Music where he received a masters degree in 1985, and then went on to complete a doctoral program at Juilliard School of Music in 1987.
Stuart has studied extensively at Boston University, Boston Museum School, and the Academy of Realist Art. His still lifes featuring mice are a whimsical expression of his classical training under notable artists Robert Douglas Hunter, Sergio Roffo and more.