Call of the Wild 2015-16

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Illuminating Humanity’s Relationship with Nature


Coeur d’Alene Art Auction

Fine Western & American Art

“Reno is home to the nation’s biggest and most successful auction of Western art.”

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The 2015 Coeur d’Alene Art Auction will be held July 25th at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nev. Visit our website at THE COEUR D’ALENE ART AUCTION tel. 208-772-9009

Carl Rungius (1869–1959), Alaskan Brown Bear (detail), oil on canvas, 24 × 38 inches, Estimate: $200,000-300,000










For more information or to view additional works please visit our website at







4977 • 75 NORTH CACHE • JACKSON, WY 83001 • 307 733-2353 WWW . LEGACYGALLERY . COM

CALL OF THE WILD Jackson Hole, Wyoming | Illuminating Humanity’s Relationship with Nature | 2015-16


14 Bull-Bransom Award

32 In Dubious Battle

Paintings by Shelley Reed

By Irene M.K. Rawlings, Editor

By Irene M.K. Rawlings, Editor

36 Fight or Flight

20 An Exclusive Interview

Art, Action, Animals

with National Geographic’s Chris Johns

By Adam D. Harris, Ph.D., Petersen Curator of Art and Research

By Irene M.K. Rawlings, Editor

41 The Conservation Gallery

22 Ai Weiwei

Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads

By Adam D. Harris, Ph.D., Petersen Curator of Art and Research

By Irene M.K. Rawlings, Editor

27 The Sculpture Trail

Fables 42 Aesop’s By Bronwyn Minton,

A Brief History

Associate Curator of Art and Research

By Jane Lavino, Sugden Family Curator of Education and Exhibits

28 Oldest Living Things

60 Photography at the Summit

in the World By Rachel Sussman

By Irene M.K. Rawlings, Editor

Interview by Irene M.K. Rawlings, Editor


4 From the President and CEO


50 The Rungius Society

6 About the Museum

52 On the Traill: New Acquisitions

8 Around Town, Around the Country

54 In Gratitude: Museum Society Members

By Jennifer Weydeveld, Director of Marketing

18 Museum Shop 46 Looking at Wildlife Art: Journey’s End By Bert Raynes, Naturalist

48 Profiles: Giving Back

56 Events: Western Visions® 58 Events: Plein Air Fest, Etc. 66 About the Museum: How it All Began 72 Last Look: Canada Lynx

(ON THE COVER) Photo © Alan Bartels, Courtesy of Clarkson Creative. | All images © the artist or artist’s estate, or the National Museum of Wildlife Art.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |


Surrounded by the natural beauty of Jackson Hole, 3 Creek Ranch Golf Club provides a convenient location where family and friends come together to enjoy a premier mountain lifestyle in an exclusive private club setting.


2800 Ranch House Circle | Jackson, WY 83001 | (307) 732-8920 |

A Higher Level “…the art in this building conveys a history of ideas, for example about our relationships with the Other, the free animal, the essence of what is foreign to us. But this work is on display here because of a consensus about its intrinsic worth.” James C. McNutt, President & CEO

– Barry Lopez, speaking about the National Museum of Wildlife Art, October 12, 2014

t the National Museum of Wildlife Art, we believe that experiences with wildlife art change personal perceptions

of nature, provide shared understanding between cultures and encourage conservation of the natural world. For an art museum, the task is not merely collecting and preserving, but telling the story about how the visions of artists affect human perceptions of animals. Without art, how many people would even know about elephants, rhinos, grizzly bears, horned toads, bald eagles or bison? Without art, how many of those species would already be extinct? The National Museum of Wildlife Art is situated in Jackson Hole, Wyoming—one of the few places in the country where people see moose, elk, grizzly bears and bald eagles on a regular basis. Our singular art collection includes some 5,000 paintings, sculptures and other fine-art works that represent centuries of the human passion to portray wild animals. Those concerned with the natural world regularly convene here to be inspired by the passion that fine artists devote to wildlife. During the past decade, the Museum has created and organized traveling exhibits in over 25 cities across the nation, shipping hundreds of artworks to sister museums. We have also published award-winning books and catalogs, and created countless programs and tours to produce memorable experiences for visitors.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

The crux of visitor experience is the recognition that everyone has some familiarity with artworks that depict animals. The cover illustration of an outdoor magazine, a photograph of an elk taped to the refrigerator door, a childhood copy of Beatrix Potter stories or even a regular evening stroll past the sculptures at the gate of a local park would all qualify. In this fashion, visitors themselves become actors in the Museum’s commitment to build a better understanding of humanity’s relationships with nature. The results of these efforts will be to fulfill the vision statement of the Museum, to make it the significant resource for people seeking the connection between art and wildlife. In today’s world, such a resource will house a unique and significant collection of art, be prepared to share that collection and information about the art and artists with people on a global basis, and function as part of a dynamic and growing network of students, researchers, artists, collectors and visitors who believe that art changes our ability to see and understand the world.

James C. McNutt, President & CEO

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16



PUBLISHER Jennifer Marshall Weydeveld EDITOR Irene M.K. Rawlings ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Sarah Nelsen, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jonathan Crosby


The mission of the National Museum of Wildlife Art is to collect, display, interpret and preserve the highest-quality North American wildlife art, supplemented by wildlife art found throughout the world. The Museum enriches and inspires appreciation and knowledge of humanity’s relationship with nature.


The National Museum of Wildlife Art, founded in 1987, is a world-class art museum holding more than 5,000 catalogued items representing wild animals from around the world. Featuring prominent artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Robert Kuhn, John James Audubon, and Carl Rungius the unsurpassed permanent collection chronicles much of the history of wildlife in art from 2500 B.C. to the present. Built into the hillside and overlooking the National Elk Refuge, the Museum received designation as the “National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States” by order of Congress in 2008. Boasting a museum shop, interactive children’s gallery, café and outdoor sculpture trail, the Museum is only two and a half miles north of Jackson Town Square and two miles to the gateway of Grand Teton National Park.

G E NE R AL INFORM AT IO N ADDRESS: 2820 Rungius Road Jackson, WY 83001 PHONE: 307-733-5771

Located 2.5 miles North of Jackson Town Square



Open daily. Summer: 9 am – 5 pm. Fall, Winter and Spring: Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm; Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm. Closed Veterans, Thanksgiving and Christmas days.


307-732-5428. Discover beautiful jewelry, ceramics, toys, books and interior furnishings inspired by nature. Open during Museum hours.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |


Featured on Rachel Ray’s $40 a Day and Food Network’s The Best of. Seats 45 for light meals, coffee, beer and wine. Open daily, 11 am – 3 pm.


By appointment, 307-732-5451.


BOARD OF TRUSTEES William G. Kerr, Chairman Emeritus William A. Mingst, Chairman David Walsh, Treasurer Reggie McNamara, Secretary James C. McNutt, Ph.D., President & CEO Stephen Adamson Jan Benz Tom Bowser Stephanie Brennan Lisa Carlin Barbara Carlsberg Dick Collister Lynn Friess Sue Simpson Gallagher Jim Gersack Richard A. Heise, Sr. Robert C. Hummel Lisa Jennings Kavar Kerr Scott Kirkpatrick Helen Laughery Fred W. Lyons, Jr. Adrienne Mars Peggy Mays Sally Mogan Debbie Petersen Peter Safir Lindy Beazley Sayers William R. Scarlett, IV Charlotte Stifel Caroline Taylor Marcia G. Taylor Georgene Tozzi David Walsh Suzanne Whitmore Bettina Whyte

LIFE TRUSTEES Marion Buchenroth Bob Jaycox Bob McCloy Charlie Mechem Gloria Newton Dick Vaughan TRUSTEES EMERITI Charles Baker Howell Breedlove Roger Craton Mary Anne Cree Jack Fritz Robert Hughes Richard P. Johnston Joffa Kerr Earl Sams Lightner Clarke Nelson Maggie Scarlett Suzanne Young NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD Barbara Casey Sophie Craighead Mary Anne Cree Liliane A. Haub William P. Healey Tim Hixon Richard P. Johnston Bill Lively Christine Mollring Bob Peck Nelson Schwab, III Ann Trammell John Turner Barbara Vogelstein

Maggie Davis, Visitor Services Supervisor & Group Tour Coordinator, 307-732-5426, PLEASE KINDLY PASS ALONG THIS MAGAZINE TO A FRIEND, REUSE, OR RECYCLE.

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Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16



Andy Warhol, Endangered Species portfolio. Screenprint. Gift of the 2006 Collectors Circle and an Anonymous Donor and National Museum of Wildlife Art Acquisitions Fund. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York. Photo Courtesy of Baker Museum, ArtisNaples.

By Jennifer Marshall Weydeveld, Director of Marketing


(TOP) Jim Wilcox (American, born 1941), The Gift–detail, 2000. Oil on canvas. 48 x 72 inches. JKM Collection®, National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Jim Wilcox. (BOTTOM) Conrad Schwiering (American, 1916 – 1986), Grand Tetons–detail, 1981. Oil on board. 48 x 60 inches. Gift of Joffa and Bill Kerr, National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Estate of Conrad Schwiering.

Continued on page 10

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16


Continued on page 12 (ABOVE) Painting pictured in top image: Thomas Moran (American, 1837 - 1926), Mount Moran, Teton Range, 1903. Oil on canvas, 56-3/4 x 47 inches. Stonehollow Collection. As exhibited in Exploring America: Western, Wildlife, and Contemporary Art from the National Museum of Wildlife Art and the Stonehollow Collection at the Baker Museum, in Naples, Florida. (ABOVE RIGHT) The picturesque North 89 Pathway is a great way to visit the Museum while being active and seeing the sights. Outdoor enthusiasts and staff alike pedal 2.5 miles north from Town Square along the National Elk Refuge, pass through the pedestrian tunnel, and are welcomed to the Museum by Bart Walter’s magnificent “Wapiti Trail” sculpture.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16




The very name Jackson Hole is synonymous with outdoor adventure and wildlife sightings. A paradise for art lovers and becoming better known as an arts destination. The many cultural offerings—including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the seven-week Grand Teton Music Festival under the direction of internationally acclaimed maestro Donald Runnicles, the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, festive outdoor concerts and dance performances, lectures and arts gatherings at The Center for the Arts—create a diverse artistic community.


Jackson Hole Airport’s original terminal, was built in the 1930s, resembled a small log cabin and had a single dirt runway. The agents who ran the airport would often have to chase horses off the runway as planes approached. Now, the airport is one of the busiest in Wyoming with nonstop air service (seasonally) from 13 U.S. destinations. Located just seven miles from the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Jackson Hole Airport is the only commercial airport in the country located inside a national park.

To buy tickets to the National Museum of Wildlife Art and for more information, please visit (ABOVE) Dan Ostermiller’s Tres Osos (Three Bears) as experienced at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, in Moose, Wyoming at the south entrance of Grand Teton National Park. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Marion


National Museum of Wildlife Art |


The Wort Hotel ( and other hotels in Jackson, including Amangani ( and Hampton Inn ( offer special National Museum of Wildlife Art lodging packages for visitors.

B u l l - B r a n s o m A wa r d

for Outstanding Children’s Book Illustration By Irene M.K. Rawlings

“For kids who can’t yet read or are just learning, it’s the work of the illustrators that fully captivates and engages the child.” –Lynn Estes Friess


National Museum of Wildlife Art |


good picture book tells a compelling story in just 32 pages. An excellent children’s picture book

must not only spark the imagination of the child but also keep the interest of the adult reading the story. Because, as we know, children tend to want the same book read to them over and over again. Successful picture books have colorful and varied illustrations that surprise the reader with each turn of the page. To create a book with re-readability, one that will not languish on the bookshelf, requires an almost magical partnership between writer and illustrator. “It is important for the illustrator to understand the story,” says Lynn Estes Friess, author of the Carl book series, “and it can’t be a good story without a good illustrator.” (Pictured L – R) Lynn Estes Friess, Tahlia Jensen, Eric Rohmann and Candace Fleming

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16


“It is important for the illustrator to understand the story and it can’t be a good story without a good illustrator.” –Lynn Estes Friess

The very successful Carl picture book series is, essentially, about the adventures of an inquisitive chipmunk named Carl who lives near the National Museum of Wildlife Art, loves to read, loves art and, eventually, becomes a guide for wildlife to the wildlife art at the Museum. After a Museum-sponsored contest to see who would illustrate the book, John Potter, a noted landscape and wildlife artist was selected. “He totally captured Carl’s personality,” Friess says. “Because of John’s marvelous illustrations, Carl immediately connects with young readers and pre-readers and creates a desire to learn more about wildlife art and about wildlife,” says Friess, who in 2010 was instrumental in establishing the Bull-Bransom Award. Among her best-selling books are Carl Discovers Wildlife Art and Carl Discovers Math in Art. She is particularly proud of having been awarded the Mom’s Choice Award for her Carl books.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

Friess goes on to say that picture books are extraordinarily important in getting children interested in wildlife and the environment in which they live. “If we are not educating our youngsters, if we are not careful about our environment, we can’t even imagine how much we are hurting future generations,” she says. As a grandmother of fourteen (She calls them her “book critics”), Friess is keenly aware of children’s natural interest in wildlife. “Even in the city, there can be foxes, raccoons, squirrels and, yes, chipmunks,” she says. “Childhood is such a time of delight, exploration and excitement.” The Sixth Annual Bull-Bransom Award Ceremonies were held on May 7, 2015, and were complemented by Quack! A Picture Book Festival. Visit to learn about events for 2016.

The Best Books of the Year: Bull-Bransom Finalists


The 2015 A wa r d W i n n e r


he National Museum of Wildlife Art is pleased to announce Rick Allen, illustrator of Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold, as the winner of the annual BullBransom Award. The award, given for artistic excellence in wildlife illustration of children’s books, was presented on Thursday, May 7, at the Museum. Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold (by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 2014) is a collection of poems about animals and their winter habits from the points of view of migrating tundra swans, beavers, moose, snakes and, of course, bees. Allen’s stunning illustrations were created with linoleum block prints enhanced by hand-coloring and digital composition. A little about this process is explained on the book’s copyright page. Lynn Estes Friess, National Museum of Wildlife Art Museum Trustee, author of the Carl children’s book series and an originator of the Bull-Bransom Award said, “It’s an honor to celebrate Rick Allen, each of the 2015 finalists and all of the Bull-Bransom Award winners. For kids who can’t yet read or are just learning, it’s the work of the illustrators that fully captivates and engages the child.”

he Bull-Bransom Award is named for Charles Livingston Bull (1874–1932) and Paul Bransom (1885–1979), two of the first American artistillustrators to specialize in wildlife subjects. Both had a tremendous impact on younger wildlife artists, both created numerous children’s books and both are well represented in the National Museum of Wildlife Art collection. The award was created in 2010 in the tradition of such prestigious children’s book illustrator awards as the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King and Hans Christian Andersen awards. Given annually to recognize excellence in the field of children’s book illustration with a focus on nature and wildlife, it is presented in the form of a medal and a $5,000 cash award. The panel of judges includes well-respected professionals in the children’s book publishing industry. “One of my favorite parts of working at the National Museum of Wildlife Art is doing the research for the Bull-Bransom Award,” says Bronwyn Minton, Associate Curator of Art and Research and a member of the panel that selects the finalists. “With such a talented group of illustrators, this year’s decision was especially tough.”


What Forest Knows

Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Simon and Schuster

Illustrator: Scott Magoon

Elizabeth, Queen of the Sea

Illustrator: Brian Floca

Illustrator: August Hall


Illustrator: Lizi Boyd Chronicle Books

Schwartz and Wade Books Random House

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16




ull of art, nature, and wildlife-inspired gifts, the

Museum Shop offers apparel, accessories, books, children’s gifts, home furnishings, fine jewelry, stationery, posters and prints, and special exhibition items. For more information, or to purchase an item over the phone, please contact the Museum Shop at 307-732-5428. ALL PRICES LISTED ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Teton Basket Originals

(A) This original basket, made of 100% natural materials, has been created by a Wyoming native. No two baskets are exactly alike, due to the uniqueness of each antler; The basket design is sturdy and will last for generations. Basket Moose Medium, $695, #900


Botanic Owls

(B) Tree Topper Large Owl, $48.95, #4124 Small Owl, $11.95, #4062




High Country Arts: Antler Serving Sets

(C) Featuring antler and hickory products from world-renowned artists. Ladle Soup Spoon, $75, #9887 • Salad Serving Set, $75, #13376 Pasta Serving Crown, $40, #9661


Carl Books

By award-winning author Lynn Estes Friess and noted painter and illustrator John Potter. The stories about Carl and his friends are set inside and around the National Museum of Wildlife Art, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Distinguished by its mission and its stunning location on a butte overlooking the National Elk Refuge, amid real wildlife habitat, the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States is unique among American art museums. Carl Discovers Math in Art, $17.99, #2472 (left) Jackson Hole’s Carl Discovers Wildlife Art, $17.99, #13127 (middle) Carl and the Shadow Hill Gang, $17.99, #14069 (right)


L an to

Wildlife in American Art: Masterworks from the National Museum of Wildlife Art By Adam Duncan Harris, Ph.D., Petersen Curator of Art and Research, $55, #11980


National Museum of Wildlife Art |





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An Exclusive Interview with National Geographic’s

CHRIS JOHNS By Irene M.K. Rawlings

s chief content officer of the National Geographic Society,

Chris Johns oversees the expression of National Geographic’s editorial content across its media platforms. Johns served as editor in chief of National Geographic magazine from January 2005 to April 2014, the ninth editor of the magazine since its founding in 1888. His editorial efforts to focus on excellence in photojournalism and reporting were recognized with 21 National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors. Johns’ books include Valley of Life: Africa’s Great Rift (1991), Hawaii’s Hidden Treasures (1993) and Wild at Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa (2002). He wrote the foreword for In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits (2004) and the introduction to the National Geographic book 100 Days in Photographs: Pivotal Events That Changed the World (October 2007).

copies of National Geographic were always in our home when I was a child. It captured my imagination and transported me all around the world. We want to spark the intellectual curiosity in people who are having National Geographic experiences. We want them to want to learn more about the wonderful world we live on. Let’s celebrate all our environment gives us and think about how we move forward in an enlightened way that will ensure that future generations have a bright future. The core topics on which the National Geographic has hung its hat for decades—energy, the environment, biodiversity, and the world’s cultural richness—are more top-of-mind today than ever before.

COTW: You have been a photographer for a long time, and so have a long relationship with the earth and its creatures. Could you talk about the changes you’ve seen—for good or for ill? CJ: The challenges in our relationship with the natural world are Call of the Wild: Could you speak about the importance of unprecedented. We are losing species at a rate that’s roughly a photographs to raise awareness of geography, animals and thousand times what it would be without human impact. And the environment? there’s no question that this is exacerbated by loss of habitat for Chris Johns: Whoever said that a photograph is worth a wild animals and by climate change. thousand words was not far off the mark. This is important Politics aside, local, state and federal government agencies because we are becoming an increasingly visual society. Young absolutely need to come together, to cooperate to preserve a people take pictures with their phone to post and share with special place, such as Yellowstone, the wild heart of America. friends. And that is not limited The chief biologist at to the young. Older people also Yellowstone National Park, David Let’s celebrate all our environment share these instant images. Hallac, recently gave a lecture in gives us and think about how we Education is one of the most which he said something very important mandates of National disturbing: “I’m afraid we are move forward in an enlightened Geographic, and educating losing this place.” We are seeing way that will ensure that future children is the key to our having close to irreversible changes not healthy lives on this incredible only in the Yellowstone ecosystem, generations have a bright future. planet. National Geographic has but also in Denali National Park, sponsored the Geography Bee for in the Serengeti ecosystem, in the Chris Johns/National Geographic the past 30 years. I deeply believe in Everglades (where I spent a year these kinds of programs. Geography photographing). Why? Because helps people to understand of human behavior and global and appreciate the world and climate change, which is very real understand our place in it. I grew up and very profound. Why do people in southwestern Oregon, where my come to Yellowstone? They want father was a geography teacher, so to see wildlife—not in cages but


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

I was especially moved by the fact that Abraham Lincoln, who was an advocate for human rights, could also see the value of our open spaces. During the Civil War, in 1864, he signed a bill to preserve forever the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. I find that both amazing and truly inspirational. In Africa, Nelson Mandela was instrumental in celebrating and preserving wild places and wild animals, hoping to pass this appreciation on to the next generation. roaming free. They want to see wolves and grizzlies. It is not only good education for the visitors, the economy of the area also benefits. Many people think that when the wolf was reintroduced into Yellowstone’s ecosystem, it made the land whole again. Others object to the presence of the wolf. I ask: “Are we so arrogant as a species that we can say, ‘I refuse to find ways to coexist with this animal’”? I was talking with a rancher the other day who has learned how to coexist with wolves and to mitigate those instances when wolves stalk and kill his livestock. He has learned that those predators are most active at dusk and at dawn and makes sure to patrol his land at those times. He says that having the “apex predators” in place makes his life as a rancher “a deeper and richer life experience.” So I would say that, although there have been setbacks, there have also been successes—soulful, spiritual and economical. COTW: You mention that we are in the middle of the sixth major extinction. Could you speak to that? CJ: It is pretty widely accepted that we’re living through a massive extinction of species. Elephants are killed for their tusks. Rhinos for their horns. If this continues, there will be no more elephants or rhinos. Habitat destruction also contributes to extinctions of fish, birds, reptiles and hundreds of insect species. So does global climate change. COTW: How important are National Parks to preserving “the wild heart” of America? CJ: National Parks are crucial. They are “labs” for science and education. They speak to the indelible importance of biodiversity. In addition, visiting a National Park is inspirational.

COTW: What are you seeing in the next generation? Are they answering the environmental call? CJ: Yes. What I’m seeing in the Millennials, as we call them, is an increasing awareness and appreciation for the earth. They have a different aesthetic and more of an appreciation for the richness of our environment. Also, they believe in initiatives like National Geographic’s Pristine Seas. And they are driving less, consuming less and they live with less “material stuff.” Photo by Chris Johns/National Geographic OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA, AFRICA.

JOHNS IN JACKSON HOLE: Chris Johns, the National Geographic Society’s Chief Content Officer, will speak about Yellowstone National Park at the 2015 SHIFT Festival, in October in Jackson Hole. For details, visit

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16


AI WEIWEI Circle of Animals | Zodiac Heads An exhibition of imperial proportions in an unparalleled mountain setting By Irene M.K. Rawlings


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

I never planned any part of my career—except being an artist. And I was pushed into that corner because I thought being an artist was the only way to have a little freedom. –Ai Weiwei, from Weiwei-isms

All images © Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze, 2010, 134 x 66 x 77 inches. Images courtesy of the artist.

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16


Respect yourself and speak for others. Do one small thing every day to prove the existence of justice. –Ai Weiwei, from Weiwei-isms

i Weiwei is a well-known contemporary Chinese artist and social activist. He is

considered one of China’s most prolific, courageous and controversial artists, using social media to advance free speech and human rights. He is so controversial that he can’t leave China but his work has been exhibited at many venues throughout the world, including the Venice Biennale, the Guangzhou Triennial, Tate Modern, the Smithsonian and now, at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads is the artist’s interpretation of animal heads that were part of the fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan (Garden of Perfect Brightness) during the Quing dynasty (1644–1912). Although they were looted by French and British troops in 1860 during the Second Opium War, Ai was able to reenvision the originals from old photographs. Twelve monumental bronze sculptures—representing the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig—line the Museum’s Sculpture Trail, a three-quarter-mile outdoor venue. The imposing heads stand 10 feet tall and weigh from 800 to 1500 pounds. Walking down the line of


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

zodiac heads and interacting with the animals (they look right back at you) is an amazing experience. It is also an opportunity to see the work of one of the best known and highly regarded living artists. “The Museum constantly explores the question…why do people make images of animals…which is a quite open-ended question,” says Jim McNutt, President and CEO of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. He goes on to say that this question goes back to the prehistoric cave paintings in the Lascaux caves in southwestern France, to the bird stones made by Native Americans 1500 years ago and to the exhibition of Ai Weiwei’s contemporary zodiac animals. The town of Jackson and the Museum are at the southern gateway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, where visitors go to see animals in the wild. “We have a special relationship with the continued presence of big wildlife—moose, bison and bear. This is the art, in all of its different representations, that’s in the Museum and now outside the Museum as well,” McNutt says. Weiwei-isms is a book of Ai Weiwei’s aphorisms and insights, edited by Larry Warsh and published by Princeton University Press in 2012. All images © Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze, 2010, 134 x 66 x 77 inches. Images courtesy of the artist.


Everything is art. Everything is politics. The art always wins. Anything can happen to me, but the art will stay. –Ai Weiwei, from Weiwei-isms

Ai Weiwei is internationally known for works of art that blur the distinction between art and activism. He has been called the most dangerous man in China. He will use any medium or genre to deliver his message—sculpture, photography, performance, tweets and blogs. For his activism—which includes mocking the Chinese government on his blog and collecting the names of the more than 5,000 children who, because their schools were shoddily constructed, died in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake— Ai has been harassed and jailed by the Chinese government. He is currently under house arrest at his home and studio in a village in suburban Beijing. He cannot travel without official permission, which is not forthcoming. But he has not been silenced. He still believes that good contemporary art is developed through struggle and through having a strong and defensible philosophical base. Ai is the son of acclaimed poet Ai Quing, who was denounced as a dissident during the Cultural Revolution; the entire family was sent to a labor camp in remote western China. These early experiences (Ai recalls spending five years cleaning toilets) put him on a course of social activism and made him want to champion the freedom of speech and expression.

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16



to the total experience of Ai Weiwei’s Zodiac Heads MUSIC + PROCESS + FILM MUSIC

Original Musical Composition to Accompany Ai Weiwei’s Zodiac Heads JULY 2 – OCTOBER 11, 2015 We are excited to host an immersive sonic space experience for visitors viewing Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals: Zodiac Heads on our Sculpture Trail this summer. Never before have the Zodiac Heads been exhibited on a natural “stage” with a backdrop of mountains and meandering creek. Nor have they previously been paired with a world-class musical composition that enhances the experience while offering interpretive insight. The recorded audio composition is delivered via outdoor speakers to all who enter the art installation area. Instrumentation referencing traditional Chinese music is integrated with field recordings of zodiacanimal vocalizations such as the tiger’s roar, snake’s hiss and rooster’s crow. The soundscape encourages visitors to linger and appreciate each of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. The creator of the sonic space, Susie Ibarra, is a renowned composer, percussionist and educator whose immersive music explores rhythm, indigenous practices and interaction with the natural world. She is committed to projects that build community via traditional music and indigenous culture. Ibarra is co-founder of the digital music company, Song of the Bird King, which has an emphasis on the cultural preservation of indigenous music and its ecology.


“Never before have the Zodiac Heads been exhibited on a natural “stage” with a backdrop of mountains and meandering creek... or paired with a world-class musical composition...”





This auxiliary exhibition extends the exhibition experience indoors in the Museum’s Wapiti Gallery. This companion exhibit features interpretive panels, and videos that contextualize the Zodiac Heads and give insight into the bronze-casting process. Open Studio offers art making for all ages, encouraging visitors to tap into their own artistic creativity: custom rubber stamps for designing postcards featuring personal zodiac signs, instructions and materials for practicing the ancient tradition of Chinese paper cutting, and pliable sculpting wax for modeling fantastical dragons or an easygoing rabbit.

In the shadow of Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals: Zodiac Heads, we will screen this award-winning documentary film about the artist by director Alison Klayman. As a PBS and NPR reporter, Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. The film chronicles the artist as he prepares for a series of exhibitions and gets into an escalating series of clashes with the Chinese government. Ai has been called the “Beijing Andy Warhol” for his ability to shock people and challenge traditions. Director Klayman received a special jury prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for this exciting documentary.

The Making of Full Circle: Ai Weiwei and the Emperor’s Fountain and Open Studio

Outdoor Movie Screening of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

– Jane Lavino, Sugden Family Curator of Education and Exhibits Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads will be on exhibit through October 11, 2015. Visit to learn more. This exhibition is made possible with a gift from the Mays Family Foundation and other generous Museum patrons.



The National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States is honored to be bringing Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads World Tour to Wyoming after exhibitions in: Mexico City Chicago London Toronto New York Washington, DC Los Angeles

Traveling to Jackson to experience Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads at the Museum? Take advantage of special National Museum of Wildlife Art, hotel packages including discounted admission passes. All packages are subject to availability, and prices may be adjusted at the discretion of the hotel. Packages include general admission to the Museum, as well as special offers in our Museum Shop, at the Rising Sage Café and more.

National Museum of Wildlife Art |


Pushing Boundaries on

The Sculpture Trail By Jane Lavino, Sugden Family Curator of Education and Exhibits


t’s been five years since we received the good news that the construction of a new outdoor Sculpture Trail was to be

made possible by a donation from Trustee, Debbie Petersen, in memory of her husband, Jim. During the past three summers we’ve enjoyed an explosion of outdoor sculpture and programs. It’s been an incredible adventure. This summer, we are upping the ante by temporarily installing Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals: Zodiac Heads. The decision to place them in a line instead of a circle was dictated by our alpine terrain. The twelve sculptures are spaced in a linear progression running north along the upper section of the Sculpture Trail. The land drops off precipitously just east of the Trail, creating a natural “stage” with a stunning backdrop of the National Elk Refuge and Gros Ventre Mountain Range. Never before have the zodiac heads been exhibited in such a breathtaking landscape; nor have they previously been paired with a world-class musical composition offering evocative interpretive insight and meditative respite.

Upon completion of our Sculpture Trail’s construction, Walter Hood, the Trail’s awardwinning designer, presciently stated: “Having temporary art is going to be a big thing. You should take many chances now....I think things inside the building sometimes become too precious, but outside you can let Sculpture Trail designer Walter Hood presenting the design to Museum Visitors it go. Do some crazy things every on September 30, 2011. now and then.” An Ai Weiwei installation is one such “crazy” thing. Ai has been called the “Beijing Andy Warhol” for his propensity to shock people and challenge traditions. Another crazy, new addition is a brand new pair of climbable sculptures (designed with kids in mind) to be installed on our Café Terrace in August. “Buffalo Mountain” and “Little Buffalo Mountain” by Stewart Steinhauer depict a buffalo cow and calf, carved from granite, with a climb-through space in the design (see page 52). If you haven’t visited the Sculpture Trail recently, this is the summer to do so.

(LEFT) Artist Ai Weiwei inspects one of his Zodiac Head sculptures during the exhibition creation. Image courtesy the artist. (RIGHT) Museum visitors stroll past Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads that adorn the Museum Sculpture Trail through October 11, 2015.

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16


All images: Oldest Living Things in the World, © Rachel Sussman


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

reach the tree. However...I did not have an epiphany standing in front of the tree. That came later. The “light-bulb moment” actually happened about a year later, once I was back at home and telling friends about the experience. I realized that a lot of things that had been percolating for a while—travel, temporary explorations, strong environmental underpinnings, philosophical heft—came together for me. I was looking at the intersection of art, science and philosophy. Let’s call it a transdisciplinary art project. Call of the Wild: How did this photo documentary start? And how long did it take? Rachel Sussman: When I speak of the origin story of this project, it is about a physical journey but also an intellectual and spiritual journey. I traveled to a remote Japanese island…Yakushima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site…to view a 7,000-year-old tree. It is the oldest and largest among the old-growth cryptomeria trees on the island. After I reached the island, it took two days hiking to

COTW: How did you find your subjects? RS: That was an interesting moment. I thought I would find an evolutionary biologist who could partner with me. But, one by one, scientists I contacted recused themselves by saying, basically, “We are not qualified to look at longevity across different species.” I quickly realized that I would have to become “the most qualified” and would have to work with 30 biologists. I looked at peer-reviewed research papers, read journals and searched out Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16


Then, I would follow their advice. I used maps, GPS coordinates or would find someone who could take me. I was looking for continuously living individuals—both single units and those living in colonies, like aspen trees. COTW: What were the parameters of this project? RS: I started at “Year Zero” and looked back. This is to remind ourselves that our timekeeping is incredibly arbitrary and incredibly shallow. In this project, I am exploring both biologic and geologic time. every scrap of information I could find. Then I would call and say something like, “I am an artist doing this project, some of which is in your field and I’d like to find out more about what you do.” Because a lot of this scientific work is esoteric, many scientists were amazed that someone outside their field would contact them.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

COTW: What were your feelings as you photographed? Did the oldest living things become “people” to you? Did you humanize them? RS: Yes. The basic idea of anthropomorphizing them took a bit of courage. And it took a bit of time. After a while, I stopped thinking of my subjects as landscape and started thinking of them as portraits. This is what separates my project from being

Rachel Sussman Shelley Reed

Meet the Artists a pure documentary. But how do you make a portrait of an individual organism? I wanted to show them in a way that feels real. Sometimes I could revisit them and take multiple images. Sometimes, I had 15 minutes and that was all. COTW: What would you call your photographs—portraits or emotional landscapes? RS: That’s something I’ve thought about and talked about in doing my work. Maybe they are landscapes that are more about ideas than specific places. The photography takes place in 1/60th of a second. Juxtaposing 1/60th of a second against thousands of years of my subject’s life is an emotional experience that can feel quite abstract. COTW: What kind of equipment did you use? RS: The size of my prints is quite large. I shoot with a Mamiya and I use film. The quality of the work that comes from film is still unsurpassed. But I have a digital camera as well. I use digital as a way to sketch…to do thinking on the spot…to see immediate results. And some of the smaller images in my book are digital. COTW: Did this project challenge your understanding of being alive? RS: Over the course of these many years, yes, it has changed my perspective. It got me thinking about decision making, long-term thinking, ethical and moral decisions with the understanding that everything has a ripple effect down the road. Everything is interconnected. Something wonderful can be something daunting. Something beautiful can also be frightening. COTW: Since you started the project, have any of your subjects been lost? RS: Of the 30 subjects I documented, we have already lost two. One was the underground forest. Thankfully, it was not the only one. The other was the Senator Tree (a 3,500-year-old cypress) in Orlando. It was still living but hollow, and some kids sneaked into it and set it on fire. But none of the oldest living organisms is safe. All are in constant danger from humans and from climate change. Oldest Living Things in the World: By Rachel Sussman will be on exhibit May 16 – August 23, 2015. The corresponding Oldest Living Things in the World Mix’d Media event will be on Thursday, August 13, 6–9 pm. Visit to learn more.

A new, after-hours program series begins on June 23, 7–8:30 pm. Join us for the kick off. Participate in a moderated conversation with artists Shelley Reed and Rachel Sussman to learn more about their current exhibits, In Dubious Battle and Oldest Living Things in the World. The purpose of this new adulteducation program is to expand our audience by offering opportunities for art enthusiasts to interact with the collection in behind-thescenes, non-traditional interpretive programs.

Rachel Sussman’s

exhibition, Oldest Living Things in the World features: An interactive art book, Among the Oldest Living Things, within the exhibition invites visitors to think about the concept of Deep Time. You can compare your age with the millenniaold organisms in Sussman’s photographs and extrapolate into the future as you enter notations and sketches to mark significant events and make your own predictions.

Shelley Reed’s

exhibition, In Dubious Battle features: A digital interface in the exhibit facilitates visitor exploration of the rich historical references embedded throughout In Dubious Battle. Touch a highlighted detail of Reed’s narrative painting on a computer screen and it will expand to reveal the art historical image(s) she is referencing. Touch the audio icon and hear the artist’s voice as she explains her motivations, narratives and methods. – Jane Lavino, Sudgen Family Curator of Education and Exhibits

All images: Oldest Living Things in the World, © Rachel Sussman

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16

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In DUBIOUS B Paintings by Shelley Reed By Irene M.K. Rawlings

“The animal images I use from art history often symbolized specific virtues. For example, the peacock represented vanity and the owl represented wisdom. My paintings can be enjoyed as lush pastoral scenes or, if a viewer understands the symbolism, the paintings can mean something more.” – Shelley Reed 32

National Museum of Wildlife Art |

S BATTLE In Dubious Battle (detail), © Shelley Reed


orking with only two colors— ivory black and titanium white— Shelley Reed fills monumental canvases with images gleaned from art history and full of metaphorical references. The title of the exhibition comes from John Milton’s poem Paradise Lost and, in that poem, refers to an epic battle between God and Satan. But, in the broader and more secular sense, Reed’s paintings refer to the battles within ourselves. “We’re ethical beings trying to live an ethical life but, so often, our animal instincts take over,” says Reed.

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16


After completing her studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Reed traveled to Europe, visited museums and became intrigued with Northern European art from the mid-17th century through the 18th century. One of her inspirations was Melchior d’Hondecoeter (1636–1695), a Dutch painter, who portrayed birds symbolically in park-like landscapes. “In the 17th and 18th centuries, painters were not just using animals as decorative elements,” Reed says. “They were very much interested in the overlap between the wild and the domestic, and how that struggle can be represented by the animal world.” Reed’s first mature body of work was influenced by images from the 1700s that dealt with heroism and power. “I was


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

interested not just in referencing the works I saw but in directly quoting them to show how the past was still relevant to today.” She has explored this narrative for her entire career. In Dubious Battle has a heroic, almost theatrical feel. The paintings are enormous—almost like the scenery in a Broadway play. “I create a massive landscape,” she says. “I like to make something really big so you feel you can enter the landscape, so you are surrounded by different scenarios everywhere you look.” Reed also notes that, although the different images seem to fit together, if you look closely, you’ll see a fractured landscape that sometimes fits and sometimes doesn’t. “It is meant to be a little disconcerting, “ she says.

“I love how light and dark work together to create a different kind of beauty, a tonal beauty. I only use two colors—black and white—but I try to get as much out of them as I can.” – Shelley Reed

The images are also a little disconcerting. There are moments when the animals are interacting with each other and moments when they are looking straight out at the viewer—sometimes with aggression, sometimes with fear. Throughout, there is a tension between the wild and the cultured, between good and evil, between beauty and destruction. It is a multi-layered message. “We humans can do wonderful things as well as terrible things,” says Reed. “In Dubious Battle is, basically, a commentary on humans’ nature.” A commentary. An observation. Depending on a viewer’s interpretation, a critique. Why does she work in black and white? “Color is seductive,” she says. “When something is colorful, sometimes that

overpowers the rest of the picture.” Removing the color and creating a monochromatic image can help the viewer to see more clearly, to comprehend more deeply. “But it still presents a challenge to create works in which the viewer does not miss the color, to create enough to look at so the color is not perceived as something that is lacking,” Reed says. In Dubious Battle: Paintings by Shelley Reed will be on exhibit May 2 – August 23, 2015. The corresponding In Dubious Battle Mix’d Media event will be on Thursday, July 9, 6–9 pm. Visit to learn more. In Dubious Battle (detail), © Shelley Reed

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16





A R T, A C T I O N , A N I M A L S

By Adam D. Harris, Ph.D., Petersen Curator of Art and Research


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

E V E N I F A N I M A L S do not process this decision to fight or flee in the same way as we do, the fight-or-flight situation is one we can all relate to. ast year, the National Museum of Wildlife Art

presented an exhibition titled Darwin’s Legacy: The Evolution of Wildlife Art. The show examined how Darwin’s theories influenced the visual arts; how, in particular, his work prompted artists to emerge from their studios and go out into the wilderness to study not only animal anatomy, but animal behavior and habitat. Developing the materials for this exhibit got many of us thinking about the connections between art and science in new ways. As Associate Curator of Art and Research, Bronwyn Minton, and I were thinking about a follow-up to Darwin’s Legacy, we began to identify works in the collection, both historic and contemporary, that dealt with motion in a variety of intriguing ways. Looking carefully at the dynamic poses

in which artists chose to depict their animal subjects, the idea of using Fight or Flight as an organizing principle quickly emerged. Fight or Flight: Art, Action, Animals presents a range of artwork from the Museum’s collection depicting animals in action—running, rolling, swimming, flying and fighting. The title of the exhibit comes from a term coined by Harvard Professor Walter Cannon in 1915 to describe a mammal’s immediate response to a perceived threat. The animal either stays and fights or flees as fast as it can. These adrenaline-filled moments have been the subjects of innumerable works of art, created both before and after Cannon’s theory was published. Fight or Flight presents work illustrating either the fight or the flight, but expands on that subject to show a variety of animals in action in art. The exhibit is divided into three main sections: Motion, Fight or Flee, and Flight.

(ABOVE) Carl Brenders (Belgian, born 1937), Without Warning, 1998. Gouache and watercolor on illustration board. 26 ½ x 38 ½ inches. Gift of Jim and Maggie Hunt, National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Carl Brenders. (LEFT) Robert Bateman (Canadian, born 1930), Stretching Canada Goose, 1983. Oil on board. 36 x 28 inches. JKM Collection®, National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Robert Bateman.

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16



The challenge of conveying motion in the static media of painting and sculpture has intrigued artists since the first painters created images of animals on cave walls in Chauvet and Lascaux, France, dating back 32,000 years. In Chauvet, a rhinoceros is depicted with multiple horns, which looks like a nodding head. In Lascaux, horses appear with legs extended at different angles to indicate stages of a running gait. When running, an animal’s legs move too quickly for the human eye to see clearly. Until the advent of photography, artists often depicted running by showing a creature’s legs extended in front and behind, but there was some debate over the accuracy of this pose. Arthur Verner’s Buffalo Stampede illustrates this method of depicting animals running, echoing the horses portrayed in the caves of Lascaux. Spectators also debated whether or not a trotting animal ever had all four feet off of the ground at the same time. It took the innovative work of photographer Eadweard Muybridge to show the precise movements of trotting and running horses in 1872, and other running creatures in

the 1880s. His work showed that a horse’s legs leave the ground completely and do not extend in front and behind at the same time. Muybridge’s work gave artists a clear template from which to work when depicting animals on the run. Painters and sculptors today employ some of the same techniques used by the artists who first depicted animals in action on cave walls. Theodore Waddell’s Hemingway’s Dream shows an elephant swinging its trunk by repeating the shape multiple times. Using this technique, Waddell alludes not only to early cave painting, but also to the work of a group of early 20th-century artists known as the Futurists, who sought new ways of depicting light, motion and speed suitable for an increasingly modern and urban era. Other ways to depict motion are to show multiple animals in different stages of a similar action. Albéric Collin’s beautiful sculpture, Deer in Flight, shows one deer in the process of landing while another is just leaving the ground. Robert Glen’s Three Giraffe Running shows giraffes in different stages of their gait. Both are reminiscent of Muybridge’s multiple-exposure images, capturing key positions in the process of moving quickly.

Eadweard Muybridge (British, 1830–1904), Buffalo Walking, 1887. Silver gelatin photograph on linen steel-plate paper. 9 x 13 ⅝ inches. JKM Collection®, National Museum of Wildlife Art.


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E A R LY 2 0 t h - C E N T U R Y A R T I S T S known as the Futurists…sought new ways of depicting light, motion and speed suitable for an increasingly modern and urban era. FIGHT OR FLEE?

We have all felt the instantaneous reaction to a perceived threat described by Walter Cannon in his theory of fight or flight. Is your immediate reaction to stand your ground or is it to escape as quickly as possible? By comparing our own reaction to that of animals, Cannon described something that may be universal across the mammalian kingdom. Even if animals do not process this decision to fight or flee in the same way as we do, the fight-or-flight situation is one we can all relate to, and that makes it an engaging subject for a work of art. One of the first artists to gain widespread recognition for his depictions of wild creatures in action was French sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye. Working the middle of the 1800s, Barye’s bestknown works are sinuous sculptures of animals in the midst of battle. For Parisians experiencing an increasingly urbanized existence, these sculptures provided a form of emotional escape by tapping into the raw power of Nature. Barye studied animals in the confines of European zoos and menageries, using his imagination to create compelling battles between worthy foes. Working

slightly later, Bruno Liljefors relied on close observation of animals in nature to spur his imagination. Influenced by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, including the notion of the survival of the fittest, Liljefors represents a generation of artists who wanted to depict animals enacting natural behaviors, one of the most dramatic of which is the fight-or-flight response.


There are few sights that elicit as much human envy as that of a bird in flight. Wanting to capture that sense of awe and feeling of airborne freedom, depictions of flight have been a longtime staple of wildlife art. Convincingly conveying a sense of a bird in mid-air, however, takes a great deal of artistic skill and first-hand observation. One technique prevalent in depictions of flight is the blurring of edges to communicate rapid motion. When we look at a hummingbird in flight, all we see is the body, surrounded by a blur of wings. By softening the wingtips of their avian subjects, artists such as Robert Bateman and Manfred Schatz convey movement while simultaneously presenting a static image.

Robert F. Kuhn (American, 1920–2007), Cruisin’, 1980. Acrylic on board. 22 x 48 inches. National Museum of Wildlife Art Collection. © Estate of Robert F. Kuhn.


BY SOFTENING THE WINGTIPS of their avian subjects, artists convey movement while simultaneously presenting a static image. Other artists in this section use methods discussed previously, such as including multiple creatures to represent different stages of a given motion. Richard Bishop’s Wingmead follows ten ducks landing on a pond. From the uppermost pair to those at the bottom, the progression of movement is easy to follow. As they descend, the ducks’ bodies begin to tilt up at a higher angle as their wings catch more air to slow them on their descent. Beyond the illustration of flight, many artists have taken on the additional challenge of depicting birds interacting with one another in mid-air. Raymond Harris-Ching’s Puffin and Young Herring Gulls captures three birds engaged in a midflight quarrel. Carl Brenders’ Without Warning conveys a scene often witnessed in the skies above the National Museum of Wildlife Art: that of a raven chasing off a larger predatory bird.


In many of his short films, Sam Easterson shows us the world from an animal’s perspective. He attaches miniature cameras to creatures like bison and wolves and then records the world as they see it. Easterson works with animals in captivity

or rehabilitation centers to generate these videos. In his other work, he inserts a tiny camera into an animal’s habitat, a burrow or a nest, to give us an intimate view of the animal in its environment. Easterson began making these films over a decade ago and received widespread acclaim, even appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman. His work has interesting parallels with the rise of reality television and the widespread use of helmet or body-mounted cameras to record human exploits. Advances in visual technology, from photography to video to tiny cameras, change the way we perceive the world around us. These advances also add to the range of tools artists are able to employ when rendering the actions of animals in art. From the earliest images created on cave walls to artists working with the latest digital media, the actions and interactions of animals have been a staple of the visual arts. These interpretations reflect the worldviews of the cultures that produced them; they are closely tied to advances in knowledge in other realms of society. Fight or Flight presents a variety of work from the late 18th-century to today, representing different takes on animal motion and different ways of understanding this dynamic and everevolving subject.

Fight or Flight: Art, Action, Animals will be on exhibit January 24 – August 29, 2015. Visit to view more artwork and to learn more. Images of the Installation of Fight or Flight at the National Museum of Wildlife Art



A Conservation Art Showcase By Adam D. Harris, Ph.D., Petersen Curator of Art and Research


his evolving installation tells the stories of animals that have either

benefited from conservation efforts or are in need of assistance for their continued survival. In its current iteration, the gallery highlights the bison and pronghorn as examples of animals that have rebounded from near extinction to sustainable levels, while also presenting artwork depicting tigers, lions, elephants and polar bears—creatures that are currently in danger of being lost forever in the wild. A centerpiece of the exhibit is Steve Kestrel’s Silent Messenger. This sculpture asks us to confront our own role in the possible extinction or salvation of species in need. Kestrel wrote of his work, “Most often in my work I celebrate the earth’s fauna and flora, but with this piece I mourn the destruction and degradation of ecosystems worldwide and the tragic loss of unique animal species. The raven is frequently admired by contemporary man for a variety of personal reasons, and as an icon is metaphorically associated with nature and ancient creation myths. The red sandstone sarcophagus is hewn from the earth by the hand of man, and symbolizes the quest for dominance and control over the natural world. In the next century, will our societies and artists celebrate the remaining wildlife—and mourn their passing?”

Juxtaposed with Silent Messenger is Gwynn Murrill’s Tiger 2, which also asks us to think about our relationship with animals, but in a slightly different way. Recently donated to the Museum by generous patron, Dr. Lee Lenz, Murrill’s Tiger 2 is posed on a pedestal reminiscent of a circus podium. In an era when there are more tigers in captivity in the United States than exist in the wild, Murrill’s work asks us to think about the current state of the species and its potential future. In fifty years, will tigers, lions, elephants and polar bears only exist in zoos, circuses, or private collections? Will there be no populations left in the wild? Both Silent Messenger and Tiger 2 ask us to think about the future of wildlife. A new, interactive element in the Conservation Gallery will prompt visitors to offer their own responses. Sugden Family Curator of Education and Exhibits, Jane Lavino notes, “The gallery interactive will ask visitors to think about the power of art as a catalyst for change and a call to action. Visitors will share what they have seen to be effective in the past, and imagine what artists might strive for in the future.”

(BOTTOM) Gwynn Murrill (American, born 1942), Tiger 2, 2012 – 2013. Bronze. 42 x 62 x 31 inches. Dr. Lee W. Lenz, National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Gwynn Murrill. (TOP) Steve Kestrel (American, born 1947), Silent Messenger, 2005. Wyoming black granite, Colorado sandstone, steel. 42 x 72 x 78 inches. National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Steve Kestrel.

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16


By Bronwyn Minton, Associate Curator of Art and Research


ost of us know Aesop’s fables. Either we have read them or, when we were children, they were read to us as cautionary tales. What many of us don’t know is that considerable scholarship has been dedicated to the research and study of Aesop’s fables, their origins and their influence on ancient and contemporary life.


The roots of Aesop’s fables go far back in time. Aesop was said to have been a Greek slave living around 600BC who was later freed and became a collector of fables. The fables we attribute to Aesop have been passed down in written and oral traditions around the world. The fables have become a core genre in children’s literature with recognizable structure, narrative, and themes. A fable is a short tale used to teach a moral lesson, a brief account that strives to guide the reader or listener. Many of the fables feature animals as characters. The use of animals in fables is thought-provoking. The animals are given human traits, used as a metaphors, and often placed in the fable to create humor, or political satire. The exhibit Aesop’s Fables extends a lengthy tradition and adds meaning and breadth to our cultural relationship with wild animals. The art in this exhibit Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16


asks questions about human culture. How have we verbally and visually portrayed animals throughout time? How have we given them human traits and voices? Does this approach connect us to them or alienate us from them? Aesop’s Fables promises to entertain and to link contemporary artists with a rich, enduring tradition. The exhibition Aesop’s Fables, at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, is a collaborative exhibit that includes 25 local and national artists. We have imbued this ancient tradition with a modern illustrative eye by asking each artist to interpret a fable using his or her own unique approach. Visit to see the current exhibition calendar and other great events happening at the Museum.


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Journey’s End By Bert Raynes, Naturalist


ight turtle species live in the seas of the world. One species, Kemp’s ridley

sea turtle, is critically endangered, having suffered greatly by human predation and inadvertent human activities. Loss of vast areas of their former breeding beaches—female sea turtles must return to land to lay eggs and continue their species—is a primary factor in the ridley’s plummeting population. In a current exhibition at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, sculptor Kent Ullberg has captured a moment in the lives and life cycle of two female ridley sea turtles as, drawn by the instinct they make their ultimate approach to the beach where they hatched. Judging by the expression on their faces of anticipation and triumph— somehow captured in the bronze by Ullberg—there’s a determination as well. They are compelled to complete their journeys. On my first visit to this show, Fight of Flight: Art, Action, Animals, I viewed this artwork from a chair from an unobstructed lowered elevation, lower than familiar. Thus I approached Ullberg’s Journey’s End as if I were underneath the surf as it brought these turtles on the last few yards to shore. Not looking down on them, but about to receive them. Not swimming with them, but welcoming them.

Journey’s End is a title with multiple meanings, of course: both of the animals approaching the end of their journey, but also, perhaps, their participation in the final acts of their species. Focused on their mission, oblivious to anything but their ancient urgings. The expressions on the turtle’s faces speak of anticipation, of hope, expectation, determination. How can Ullberg capture all of that in bronze? Well, he has lots of experience. Kent Ullberg has been a successful sculptor for over four decades, with works shown worldwide. His work captures the intensity of animal behavior, from mammals to fish. He is an undeniable master of his chosen art form on both intimate and monumental scales. In the book Kent Ullberg: Monuments to Nature, Todd Wilkinson presents descriptions and illustrations of Ullberg’s extraordinary abilities. Already breathtakingly prolific, he is very much a working artist, continuing to seek new interpretations of animal form and movement. Ullberg works on a relatively small scale (Journey’s End is about four feet tall) to the largest wildlife art ever made, a sculpture made over several city blocks. Immediately outside the windows of the Museum’s Rising Sage Café, overlooking the National Elk Refuge and the foothills of Gros Ventre Mountains is an Ullberg bronze bear lounging and at ease. Kent Ullberg occasionally visits the National Museum of Wildlife Art. In 1996, he was awarded the Museum’s prestigious Rungius Award for his contributions to the interpretations of wildlife and its habitat. The current show Fight or Flight: Art, Action, Animals, replete with pieces from the Museum’s own collection is a rewarding experience.

Bert Raynes is a beloved local and nationally known naturalist. His weekly column in the Jackson Hole News&Guide and his books—Valley So Sweet, Curmudgeon Chronicles, Birds of Jackson Hole, Winter Wings, and Birds of Sage and Scree—inspire readers to understand, explore and protect the beautiful valley of Jackson Hole. His books can be found in the Museum Shop. He was chosen as the recipient of the prestigious 2001 Rungius Medal for his tireless work in raising awareness and appreciation of the natural world and the precious creatures that inhabit it.


Photo by Kathy Robertson,

(LEFT) Kent Ullberg (Swedish, born 1945), Journey’s End, 1993. Bronze. 41 ½ x 32 x 31 inches. Generously sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Richard F. Mogan, III, National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Kent Ullberg.



Carl Rungius (1869-1959), Grizzly Bear, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches, Estimate: $250,000 - $450,000

Bob Kuhn (1920-2007), A Battle of Titans, acrylic on board, 14 x 18 inches, Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

Bob Kuhn (1920-2007), Autumn Itch, acrylic on board, 9 x 11 1/2 inches, Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

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Interior shot of the National Museum of Wildlife Art

Profiles: Giving Time C

arol Schneebeck has volunteered at the

Museum for more than 15 years, mainly working on special projects in the curatorial department and in the library. “I’m a retired English teacher, so working in the library is really a good fit,” she says. Carol has always enjoyed going to natural places and remembers with fondness fishing trips with her father. This year, she and her husband, Chuck, received the Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Award in recognition of their volunteer work with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation. A major achievement was coordinating (with agencies, private land owners and volunteers) the


arsha Wackerly is a computer scientist who

worked for many years with both hardware and software before retiring to Jackson. Since 2011, she has worked “behind the scenes” at the Museum in data management, maintaining photo archives, and organizing books and periodicals. Marsha also writes the Volunteer Newsletter and coordinates the volunteer Internet site. For the past year, she has worked in the Museum library, entering newly acquired books into the Wyoming Library Catalog Database (WYLD). To celebrate her contributions to the Museum, she has been named Volunteer of the Year 2014–2015. “The volunteers are a


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

A major achievement was coordinating the removal of more than 100 miles of barbed-wire fence that was no longer needed and was replaced with wildlifefriendly fencing. removal of more than 100 miles of barbedwire fence that, in some cases, was no longer needed and in other cases was replaced with wildlife-friendly fencing.

“The volunteers are a great group of very talented people. I’m proud to be a part of the group, and I’m happy to donate my expertise to the Museum to help it be a better place for all.” great group of very talented people. I’m proud to be a part of the group, and I’m happy to donate my expertise to the Museum to help it be a better place for all,” she says.




Rungius Society T

he mission of the National Museum of Wildlife Art has

always been to investigate humanity’s relationship to wild animals. This occurs both within the Museum’s walls and outside—through its spectacular setting overlooking the National Elk Refuge. Museum members and collectors hold a deep connection to nature and art that depicts nature. The Rungius Society, named after legendary wildlife artist Carl Rungius (1869–1959), is part social and part philanthropic. From behind-the-scenes programs with artists, to private studio tours, to the immensely popular “Art Around the Valley,” social and artistic interests combine. These are all benefits of membership. In addition, many life-long friendships are formed. “The activity of the Rungius Society may be to come to events at the Museum and to share the member benefits, but the real impact of their generosity is felt in all the programming that affects the community and continues from year to year,” says James McNutt, Museum President and CEO. Membership in the Rungius Society embodies the best of philanthropy, friendship and fun, and is rooted in the abiding belief that conservation of wildlife and the environment should be important parts of each of our lives. To join the Museum, please call the Museum’s Development Office at 307-732-5447 or join online at under Support. Museum membership starts at $45 and the Rungius Society Annual dues are $3,000. (ABOVE) John Schoenherr (American, 1935 - 2010), Moose and Mountains. Oil on Canvas, 30 x 48 inches. JKM Collection, National Museum of Wildlife Art.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |


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Climb on Me!

V o In 2010 the Museum received a $70,000 gift from Lynn and Foster Friess, in honor of their 70th birthdays. The Museum’s Art Acquisitions Fund provided some extra assistance, enabling us to purchase a pair of climbable sculptures. Sculptor Stewart Steinhauer was commissioned to create a climbable buffalo cow and calf because his work fit all of our criteria. The granite is comfortable to the touch, even in summer; the climbthrough feature in the center invites additional climbing potential, as well as forming a “window” through which the beautiful outdoor landscape can be viewed. Steinhauer is Canadian and Cree. He grew up on a Cree reserve in northeastern Alberta. The buffalo is significant to Cree culture and spiritual beliefs. Stewart Steinhauer (Canadian, b. 1952), Buffalo Mountain and Little Buffalo Mountain, 2015, granite. Purchased with funds generously donated by Lynn and Foster Friess with additional assistance from the National Museum of Wildlife Art Acquisitions Fund.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

• • •


William Herbert Dunton (1878 – 1936). Timberline, 1932. Oil on canvas. Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming, USA. Gift in Memory of Hal Tate from Naoma Tate and the Family of Hal Tate. 9.05

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National Museum of Wildlife Art |

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E V E N T S : W E S T E R N V I S IO N S

Western Visions A

n invitational show for the Wild 100— the top living artists depicting animal

forms in a variety of mediums—Western Visions® traditionally showcases contemporary approaches to wildlife art as well as classic work. The 28th Annual Show and Sale runs from September 5 to September 27, 2015, and features a wide selection of art for sale— charcoal drawings, large oils, intimate watercolors, mixed media, polished bronze and more. Wild 100 painters and sculptors show more than 200 works of art, and thousands of people attend— including wildlife-art collectors from all over the globe. Western Visions® has been the cornerstone of the Jackson Hole Fall Arts

The 2014 Western Visions® Art Show and Sale


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

Festival for over 20 years. During the course of those two decades, the show and sale have become established as a major nationally and internationally anticipated event. One of the strengths of the show and sale is the participation of so many talented artists—both well-established and emerging talents—whose work expresses humanity’s relationship with nature. Western Visions® is the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s largest and longest-running fundraiser with a variety of exciting events happening over the course of several days. As many as 2,000 people attend Western Visions® events throughout the week. Funds raised support the educational mission at the Museum. The Western Visions Show & Sale runs from September 5–27, 2015 with special events happening throughout. Visit for full schedule.

Longtime Community Trust and Estate Planning Lawyer Joins BOJH


lay Geittmann has joined Bank of Jackson Hole’s management team as their Senior Vice President and Chief Trust Officer. Clay will be leaving the practice of law but will maintain his professional licensure with the Wyoming State Bar Association. Having seventeen years of experience in estate planning, probate and trust administration, business planning and tax law, Clay’s legal experience will enhance the decisions, planning, and investments of Bank of Jackson Hole’s Trust Department. Mr. Geittmann was one of the principal drafters of the Wyoming Uniform Trust Code originally enacted in 2003.

Community Strong Clay Geittmann Senior Vice President and Chief Trust Officer Trust Department Bank of Jackson Hole

Bank of Jackson Hole is honored to welcome Clay to our team. Chairman of the Board, Robert F. Biolchini, and CEO of Bank of Jackson Hole, Pete Lawton, stated jointly, “We are proud to have Clay join the management team of Bank of Jackson Hole and, as one of Wyoming’s most skilled trust and probate practitioners, he will offer an enhanced vision and quality to our Trust Department.”


*Clay will no longer be practicing law, but will remain an active member of the Wyoming State Bar Association

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E V E N T S : PL E I N A I R F E S T

Plein Air Fest, Etc. P

ainting outdoors (en plein air) became wildly popular with both French and

American Impressionists in the 19th century. It coincided with the introduction of oil paint in tubes and the invention of the “field easel,” making it easy to take painting out of the studio and into nature. Today, it is not unusual to visit a national park or a nature preserve and see an artist working at a portable easel, instantly capturing the towering mountain peaks, breathtaking vistas and awe-inspiring panoramas.

The Plein Air Fest takes place on the Sculpture Trail of the National Museum of Wildlife Art early on the morning of June 20th. Called a “Quick Draw,” the event features 50 artists who begin and complete a painting in four hours or less. An admiring crowd of art lovers will gather to chat with the artists but mainly to watch in amazement. Then they will bid on the works of art and take them home—carefully, so as not to smear the very fresh paint. The Fourth Annual Plein Air Fest, Etc. will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2015, starting at 9 AM, National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Sculpture Trail. Bidding for the art begins at 1:30 PM. Visit WildlifeArt,/org/pleinair for more information.


The 2014 Plein Air Fest on the Museum’s Sculpture Trail.

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Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16



Photography at the Summit


or more than 30 years, wildlife photographers have gathered at the National Museum of Wildlife Art—in Grand

Teton Country—for the Summit Nature Workshop, held annually in late September. This workshop brings together a faculty of internationally known photographers, many from National Geographic magazine. Serious students and interested amateurs come from all over the world to learn, network and have their work critiqued by the top professional photographers and editors. The instructional sessions include lectures on conservation photography, marketing and freelance photography, and the latest in software and technology. A typical workshop day begins before sunrise. Students and faculty members drive into Grand Teton National Park for early morning photography, including wildlife, nature and scenery. After that, all participants come to the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s workshop classroom to begin lecturestyle education by the workshop faculty. The workshop averages around 50 students and 10 faculty members, creating a very low (5:1) student-to-teacher ratio that is practically unheard of in the world of photography education. Throughout the rest of the day, students have the flexibility to decide between classes, portfolio reviews, photography outside the Museum and browsing the newest equipment. Nikon, one of the workshop’s sponsors, provides a large selection of cameras and lenses for the students’ use. In the afternoons, the workshop’s faculty critiques students’ images. Seeing the variance in photography and the qualities of a great photograph becomes one of the week’s best teaching moments. In the evening, there is a lecture presentation at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Typically, two of the distinguished faculty members present their lifetime portfolios to an audience of students and Museum patrons. For more information, see continued on page 62 Photo © Syler. Courtesy Clarkson Creative.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16



“To be great, photography needs to tell a story, to show high emotion and to invite the reader in.” – Rich Clarkson

Rich Clarkson, owner of Denver-based Clarkson Creative and originator of Photography at the Summit, has a long history of sports photography that began when he was still in high school. While at the University of Kansas, he covered basketball, traveling with the team and documenting the 1952 NCAA Men’s National Championships in which KU defeated St. John’s for the title. One of his most iconic photographs is of a young Wilt Chamberlain, a freshman at KU in 1955, sitting in a folding chair and tying his shoes. And, in this quiet moment, the viewer gets a sense of how tall the 7-foot-1-inch Chamberlain really was. “The action shots are not always where the action is,” says Clarkson. During his distinguished career, Clarkson photographed for Sports Illustrated, was director of photography at the Topeka Capital-Journal and was director of photography at National continued on page 64 Geographic magazines.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

Clockwise from top left: © George Mullinix, © Becky Walter, © Dave Snyder, © John Warner, © Joshua Hardin. Courtesy Clarkson Creative.

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Tips on Photographing Wildlife 1. Be patient.

Nature is wonderful but does not stick to a calendar. The best moments will naturally happen in front of you if you give them time.

2. Do your homework.

3. Work with light.

Treat the environment, the animals and local residents with respect. We should be very cognizant of our surroundings. We are just visiting. This is their home.

Research the area, the species, their habits and anything else you need to know in order to be a more educated photographer. Talk with locals and local photographers.

Stick to the hours of golden light. Get up early and use the sunrise to your advantage. The time just before and just after sunset are good times for photography.


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

4. Turn around!

Most photographers miss this one. Don’t be so focused on a shot that you aren’t aware of what’s around you and, perhaps, turning around for other possibilities. Maybe your best shot is behind you.

5. Be respectful.

Photo © Grace Kellogg. Courtesy Clarkson Creative.

Tamara Callens Mother Hen, 30"x30"

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One of the original architectural renderings of the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

How it All Began A B OU T T H E M USE U M


he National Museum of Wildlife Art was founded by a group of friends in Jackson, Wyoming. They were enthusiastic about

doing something to culturally enhance their community and had great hopes, much naivete, and little practical knowledge of managing a museum. Their vision, according to co-founder William G. Kerr, was “to create an institutional home which displayed objects portraying wildlife as a means to engage and sensitize visitors to the abundant natural environments of northwest Wyoming and the American West. We believed the Museum had a serendipitous combination of location and mission with real potential to help create more awareness and knowledge of wilderness areas and animals available to the public.” When asked about their personal commitment to animal art, Joffa and Bill Kerr will tell you it all began because of their love for and ability to experience wild places. “We were primed to learn from friends and artist mentors that ‘our kind of art’ was


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

“Today...visitors from all over the globe find a well-researched, expertly interpreted collection to inspire their vision of nature...” – Bill Kerr under appreciated and under collected. These were the folks who shaped our journey.” After a few years of visiting Jackson Hole as tourists, in 1979 the Kerrs purchased a mountainside log cabin and started decorating it with paintings and sculpture from their Oklahoma home. Jackson residents Maggie and Dick Scarlett were visiting Denver in 1985 and came across a collection of wildlife art in a private museum across the street from The Brown Palace Hotel. An inquiry revealed that the objects were loaned by

“The founders’ vision...was to create an institutional home which displayed objects portraying wildlife as a means to engage and sensitize visitors to the abundant natural environments of northwest Wyoming and the American West.” – Bill Kerr an Oklahoma couple who also had a vacation home in Wyoming. Maggie told her husband “that has to be the Kerrs, they bank with us.” Soon the two couples were adding friends and community leaders to their what-would-you-think-about-an-art-museum conversation. In the late spring of 1987, a 5,000-square-foot museum-in-the-making opened to the public in a leased commercial building on the Town Square. The leaders, while possessing scant practical knowledge, had a deep commitment to what would become one of the premier cultural destinations in the Mountain West. In 1991, the National Museum of Wildlife Art Board of Trustees decided to look for a permanent location. They were fortunate to have Byron Price, who was then Executive Director of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, lend his expertise to the site search. One of Price’s first observations was: “You need to move away from the town square where the Museum will always be confused with the large number of commercial galleries. The Museum should be a destination.” Board members responsible for evaluating properties heeded that advice and chose a 70-acre tract two miles north of town on the highway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Their selection holds an elevated and commanding view of the National Elk Refuge and mountains beyond. Today, in-person and online visitors from all over the globe find a well-researched and expertly interpreted collection designed to inspire their vision of nature and recall adventures spent with the creatures who call the wilderness their home. The National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States is a unique gift to the world. To learn more about the National Museum of Wildlife Art, view the collection, or plan your visit, please visit Photographs featured: Joffa and William G. Kerr have devoted a life’s work to the creation and growth of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Pictured here at the 1994 grand opening celebration, greeting Hillary and Bill Clinton for a private tour in the summer of 1995, and at the 2014 Collector’s Circle dinner.


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AMARAN is about beauty



Canada Lynx Taylor Glenn, a longtime resident of Jackson, Wyoming, has always been fascinated by the wildlife that lives within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Because he is a portrait photographer, he chooses this visual aesthetic when he photographs animals. His photographs are, quite simply, animal portraits and, as such, are unique within the genre of wildlife photography. “I create studio portraits to allow people to focus on the beauty of the animal without any distractions,” he says. The animals Glenn photographs live in captivity due to various unfortunate circumstances. Some will be able to be released back into the wild, some will not. To create the portraits, Glenn builds a simple set with a plain backdrop in or near the facility where the animal lives. When the set is complete, the handler walks the animal into and around the set, to let it explore and become familiar and comfortable with this new space. Then Glenn waits. “They don’t pose. They simply are themselves and, when I see the right moment, I make the picture,” he says. “I want each image to be a powerful and beautiful representation of the animal.” The Canada lynx (pictured) is a mediumsized cat found throughout Canada, Alaska and in the northern Rockies. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, made up of land in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, is considered one of the critical habitats for this species. These days, it is very rare to spot the Canada lynx in the wild, and Lynx canadensis is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. “By showing the animals in a unique way, I hope people will realize how important it is to preserve them and their habitat,” Glenn says. To see more images from this project and other photographic work, visit Glenn is a featured artist with WRJ Design Associates,


National Museum of Wildlife Art |

Taylor Glenn, Lynx canadensis


M O U N T A I N S B Y D AY M USIC BY N IGH T Y O U H AV E S E V E N W E E K S T O C A T C H A C O N C E R T. G O ! J U LY 1-AU G U S T 1 5 , 2 0 1 5

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P h o t o: H a r a l d H o f f m a n n n


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