Ikki Matsumoto

Ikki was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1935 to a well-known cartoonist and children's book illustrator Katsuji Matsumoto. At the age of 20 Ikki travel to the United States to study at the John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. He later transferred to the Art Academy of Cincinnati to study under the renowned wildlife artist Charles Harper. Ikki graduated in 1959 and Married Polly Adamson, he began working for a advertising agency in Cincinnati. 1961 Rand McNally published a two volume book of punch out animals designed by Ikki.

 

In 1970 Ikki and Polly moved to a 50 acre farm in Loveland, Ohio where their family grew to two sons, one daughter, five horses, one donkey, three dogs, a lot of cats, four goats, a dozen or so chickens, a few ducks, a monkey and a skunk. Ikki left the studio and established his own business at the farm in 1972. His work included: book illustrations, newspaper ads, package and display designs, etc. He was also commissioned to illustrate the latest edition of The Joy of Cooking. By 1975 Ikki was unsatisfied with the advertising field and moved from the Ohio farm to Sanibel Island, Florida. There he established a new career as a painter and printmaker using the native birds as his subjects. In 1980 Ikki and his family moved to Oregon to be closer to his ailing father, this is where he produced a series of west coast landscape paintings. A year later they moved back to Florida.

 

1985 Ikki was one of 50 artist chosen by first lady Nancy Reagan to paint an Easter Egg. It is now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum. The C&S National Bank on Sanibel commissioned 30 original paintings which are on public display throughout their building. Its is the largest corporate collection of Ikki's work.In 1990 one of Japan's national television networks featured Ikki and his family in a 30 minute documentary. The program was one in a series which portrayed Japanese persons living successfully abroad with no business ties to large Japanese Corporations. Ikki and Polly closed their gallery on Sanibel in '97 so they could devote more time and energy to painting and weaving. In 2002 they returned to the island and reopened their gallery in the Village Shops where Ikki produced posters for the Island Reporter and the Rotary Club's Annual Craft Fair as well as the cover design of the Ft. Myers Chamber of Commerce Magazine. On December 31, 2013 Ikki passed away just one day before his 79th birthday.

At this time, Ikki's work is only sold in our physical gallery location.

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