Edward Armen Stasack Biography

Edward Armen Stasack




Edward Armen Stasack was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 1, 1929 to Clifford and Bette Stasack,. He received his BFA (1955) and MFA (1956) at the University of Illinois at Urbana, focusing on painting and printmaking. He then went on to teach at the University of Hawaii at Honolulu's art department, where he eventually became chairman (1969 - 1973) and as the Program Chairman in Printmaking (1973-1986).  Stasack was an early experimentor with the collograph and is often credited with the invention of the masonite-intaglio process. His method of creating his collographs is described on pages 322 and 323 of Fritz Eichenberg's informative book on the history of printmaking, The Art of the Print. Stasack has also worked as a sculptor including working with precast concrete murals.

After a profound experience while hiking, and surviving, the King’s Highway on the Big Island of Hawaii in the late 1950s, Stasack fell in love with the Islands and began a life-long love affair for its Petroglyphs. Once retired from teaching, he dedicated his life to the preservation and recording of Hawaiian Petroglyphs. In partnership with his wife, Diane Stasack, they devoted their time and resources to producing many detailed archeological reports of petroglyph sites, ensuring that the enduring legacy of Hawaiian Rock Art will be preserved. Throughout his life, he saw himself as an explorer, seeker, and above all an adventurer. Not only did his curiosity lead him to a career in the creative arts, he loved to ponder the deeper questions and mysteries of life. How could a young boy on the Cubs side of town root for the White Sox, and will the Bears ever win another Super Bowl? What is the purpose, value, and definition of good art? What drives a man with no cartilage in his knees to run 3 marathons? What is the source of truth and inspiration, and why is the muse so demanding?

He received the Tiffany Foundation Fellowship in 1958 and 1962; the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, 1959; and the Hawaii State and U.S. Bicentennial Commissions Fellowship in 1975, as well as prizes from the California Society of Etchers, the Northwest Printmakers, and the Society of American Graphic Artists, among others.  

Stasack has held numerous one-man exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including at the Honolulu Academy of Arts (1961, '69, '76, and 1987); Downtown Gallery, New York (1965); Cleveland Institute of Art (1976); exhibitions in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and Bucharest (1976); Amfac Center, Honolulu (1979), among others. He has participated in various group shows, also throughout the U.S. and abroad. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; New York Public Library; the Brooklyn Museum; Library of Congress; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and several others.

Edward Armen Stasack died in Prescott, Arizona on January 26, 2023.