Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct

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Hardcover, 352 pages.

Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct offers a compelling blend of the artist’s finished paintings and finest sketches—works of art in their own right. This lavishly illustrated book is a fitting tribute that will further establish Bob Kuhn’s place in the pantheon of late-twentieth-century American artists.

“For those of us who portray wildlife . . . our decision to persist in our quest for excellence is almost always based on a love affair, a fascination with the creatures of our planet, and a need to share this feeling the best way we know how.”

So said wildlife artist Robert Kuhn (1920–2007), who spent a lifetime sketching and painting animals, and generously mentoring other artists. Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct presents a generous sampling of his rarely seen sketches alongside the vibrant paintings for which he is best known. Appearing in conjunction with a traveling exhibit mounted by the National Museum of Wildlife Art, in Jackson, Wyoming, this book allows readers to observe the artistic process of one of the greatest wildlife artists of our time.

Curator Adam Duncan Harris provides an introduction and a biography of Kuhn, along with an examination of his working method. In addition, Bob Kuhn features four substantive essays by leading authorities on American art: James H. Nottage of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Amy Scott of the Autry National Center, Lisa M. Strong of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and Todd Wilkinson of Wildlife Art Journal and other publications. These contributions, written from a variety of art historical perspectives, set Kuhn’s oeuvre within the cultural context in which he worked and deepen our understanding of his achievements. Complementing the essays are brief appreciations by six of Kuhn’s contemporaries and three samples of the artist’s own writing.

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