In the long history of wildlife art, few painters have matched – and none have exceeded – the brilliant originality and strength of the bird paintings made by Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874-1927). In his short but influential career, Fuertes painted thousands of pictures from North America and around the world. Among the highlights of his career are the paintings he made in Alaska on the Harriman Expedition of 1899, in Texas of the birds found on the U.S-Mexico border for the U.S. Biological Survey in 1901, in South America on multiple trips for the American Museum of Natural History, and in Ethiopia, on his final expedition (1927) made on behalf of the Field Museum of Chicago.
In a visually rich and stimulating powerpoint presentation, Fuertes’ biographer, Robert McCracken Peck, Curator of Art and Senior Fellow at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (Drexel University), will tell the fascinating story of how this self-taught artist revolutionized wildlife art and popularized bird watching in the early twentieth century. He will put Fuertes’ work in a broad artistic and scientific context, tracing the evolution of American wildlife art from Mark Catesby, William Bartram, Alexander Wilson and John James Audubon to Roger Tory Peterson, David Sibley, and others. For anyone with an interest in birds and art, this talk will be a feast for the eye and mind, presented by a speaker whose books, articles, exhibits and lectures have earned him international recognition as an expert in the field.