“NHL,” a painting Sports Illustrated commissioned the late Edward Kasper to create in 1974, has been donated to the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA).
The painting, which depicts an ice hockey referee dropping a puck for a face-off, is being donated by Scott Klion of New York, who purchased the piece in 1978.
Kasper was a native of Connecticut, who went to the Yale University School of Fine Arts. He was known mostly for sport art, working free-lance for Sports Illustrated in the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s. He exhibited at Dartmouth College, Spectrum Fine Arts in New York City, and many other galleries throughout New England. He also did illustrations for Columbia Records, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and a number of books. For the last 15 years of his life, he specialized in portraits. He lived most of his life in Wilton, Connecticut, and died in 1997.
“My father developed tuberculosis of the hip at age five, well before there was any effective treatment for TB,” Kasper’s son, Dr. Edward Kasper, said. “He spent from age five until high school in a TB sanitarium for children with bone TB – very common in those days.”
“Because he had to stay off his feet, he learned to paint. He left the sanitarium to go to Milford High School. The art teacher recognized his talent and asked him to paint a mural on a wall in the high school. He painted a history of mathematics with about 15 life-sized figures of famous mathematicians. The art teacher notified the Dean of the Yale art school who, upon seeing the mural, offered him a full scholarship.”
Founded in 1984, ASAMA, a division of the United States Sports Academy, is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,500 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints, and photographs. The museum is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.