The Flagg/Kinstler Easel

A portrait by Mary Beth McKenzie inaugurates a new series of rotating exhibitions on a storied easel.

The Flagg/Kinstler Easel
Mary Beth McKenzie’s portrait Beñat on the Flagg/Kinstler easel. The artwork on the easel will rotate every two months.

An easel used by Everett Raymond Kinstler (1926–2019) in his studio at the National Arts Club to paint the portraits of many notable actors, musicians, writers, politicians, First Ladies, and several U.S. Presidents has been donated to the Art Students League by the artist’s daughters, Dana Kinstler Standefer and Kate Kinstler Fuertes. Now located in the registration office, this easel will be dedicated to displaying the artwork of current League instructors. 

The Flagg/Kinstler Easel
Kinstler’s portrait of James Montgomery Flagg from 1952 is part of the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC.

Kinstler studied with Jon Corbino and Frank Vincent DuMond in the 1940s and later taught at the League from 1970 to 1974, influencing many artists. The easel was given to Kinstler by his longtime friend and mentor James Montgomery Flagg (1877–1960), himself a League student during the 1890s, who is today best remembered as the creator of the iconic “I Want You” recruitment poster of 1917. 

Mary Beth McKenzie said of Kinstler, “I had a long friendship with him, and I was very honored when I was asked by Executive Director Michael Rips to be the first to exhibit a painting on this easel.” 

The subject of McKenzie’s portrait is artist Beñat Iglesias Lopez, her student at both the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. 

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