William Joseph Schaldach was born in Elkhart, Indiana in 1896. From a young age, he showed great interest in angling and wildfowling and he pursued the former until he was allowed to own a gun as a teenager. Schaldach’s family moved to Michigan in 1908 and he began writing and drawing while in high school, publishing an article on his own illustrations at the age of nineteen. After serving in the Navy, he attended the Art Student’s League in New York where he studied under John Sloan, George Bridgman and Harry Wickey, who taught him the techniques of drypoint, etching and aquatint.
In 1927 Schaldach made the first of his numerous prints. Throughout his career he produced several prints and watercolors of wildfowl, anglers with fly rods in rivers, streams and lakes, and game fish in the water. He was employed by the magazine “Forest and Stream” as a managing editor until the late 1930s, returning to the then renamed magazine (“Field and Stream”) after the Second World War.
Examples of Schaldach’s work include “Desert Incident”, a 1940 aquatint fo a coyote carrying a jackrabbit, and “Bogland Tapestry”, a watercolor of a woodcock. He wrote and illustrated a number of books, including “Fish by Schaldach”, “Currents and Eddies”, “Coverts and Casts” and “Upland Gunning”.
Schaldach was a member of the Society of American Etchers, the Salmagundi Club and the Independent Society of Printmakers, all in New York. He participated in exhibitions at the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Chicago Society of Etchers, the Artists for Victory at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 1939 New York World’s Fair and the American Watercolor Society in New York, to name a few. William Schaldach died in Tubac, Arizona in 1982.