National Museum of Wildlife Art

Jackson Hole, WY



Wildlife in Winter

December 10, 1999 - April 16, 2000


Wildlife in Winter features works from the museum's permanent collection and has a strong educational focus This exhibition will examine the variety of strategies used by wildlife to survive the cold, sparse months of winter and will explore questions such as "what challenges does winter bring" and "how does wildlife respond to the harsh conditions of winter?" The selected paintings illustrate the relationships among wildlife species. as well as the unique relationship each of these animals has with its winter environment.

One of the featured images, Belmore Browne's (United States, 1880-1954) White River Moonlight, 1965, provokes discussion about specific winter adaptations. The artist uses deep blues and greens to paint the freshly fallen snow and dark shadows of a clear, moonlit night. Though the image rings with icy silence, the moose appears surprisingly at ease wading through the powdery depths on stilt-like legs, insulated from the frigid temperatures in his hollow-haired coat.

Pas de Deux, 1975, a painting by Robert Kuhn (United States, b. 1920), causes one to stop and ponder the capriciousness of winter. The artist captures the instant of attack as a large snowshoe hare dodges and bounds away from a red fox. One can imagine the hare a split second earlier, crouched in the snow hoping his white-coat camouflage will spare him. The depiction of two animals of equivalent size and power makes the viewer wonder at the outcome between predator and prey. The ambiguity inherent in this piece epitomizes a common tension in the natural world: some must perish for others to survive. (left: Robert Kuhn, Pas de Deux, 1976, National Museum of Wildlife Art)

Through the use of interpretive labels, visitors can explore interesting questions about adaptation, migration, and hibernation in this exhibit curated by the museum's Education Department.

Read more in Resource Library Magazine about National Museum of Wildlife Art.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 12/8/10

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