Saul J. Krotki was born in New York City in 1942, the son of mineral collector and bibliophile Carl Krotki (1914-2002) and his wife Shirley. In the late 1950's, Saul brought home rocks from a nearby highway dig and asked his father to identify them. That led to trips to the American Museum of Natural History, to the purchase of some field guides, and to a lifelong hobby. Thanks to his father's interests, Saul grew up surrounded by both minerals and rare mineral books and also by such luminaries as Fred Pough (q.v.), Paul Desautels(q.v.), and John Sinkankas(q.v.). His interest in micromounting came from studying with another mineral legend, Neal Yedlin (q.v.), who helped him build his first microscope; since then Saul has become an excellent micromount photographer.
Saul studied mineralogy at the University of Utah in the early 1960's, then returned to New York City, where he earned a degree in Fine Art from the City College of New York. He served two summers as a National Science Foundation intern at the Smithsonian Institution, studying under Paul Desautels (q.v.) and John White (q.v.). He then went on to earn his Master's Degree in Fine Art from the State University of New York at New Paltz. He taught in alternative public high schools both in New York City and later in Seattle, Washington, working with troubled children and conducting annual art contests for the students. He also established an art school and gallery in Salt Lake City for a while.
After moving to Eagle Rock in Southern California, Saul worked for Rock Currier's (q.v.) company, Jewel Tunnel Imports, for a few years on a part time basis. He ran his own mineral business on the side, highgrading the flats that came in as soon as Rock had priced them. He named his business Krotki Iron Mines, in honor of his great uncle, Max Krotki, who had owned an iron mine the Marysvale Mining District of Utah and had started the family in mineral collecting. Saul then went back to school again, attending Pasadena City College where he took courses in optics and lasers, afterwards working as a certified laser electro-optics technician in southern California.
During his stint in the service Saul was stationed in Taiwan where he learned Tai Chi, and now devotes his time to teaching T'ai Chi and producing paintings. He self-published a book on Tai Chi entitled Five Commitments and Agreements for T'ai Chi Push-Hands (1998). His artworks have been exhibited since 1970 and have been shown at the National Academy of Design, the Woodstock Art Association, the National Arts Club, the Art Students League of New York, and the Southern California Institute of Arts, among other places.
It was in Seattle, at the University of Washington, that Saul met Eileen Tobin; they were married and now have a young daughter, Hudson. Saul is just as pleased as punch and spends most of his time with his daughter.
CURRIER, R.H. (2007) Personal communication.
ROBINSON, S. (2002) Seattle mineral artist: Saul Krotki. Rocks & Minerals, (5),
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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