Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Exhibit Brings Together the Extraordinary Talents of Minnesota’s Legendary Hautman Brothers
Federal Duck Stamp Superstars Created 50 New Wildlife, Waterfowl and Landscape Pieces For Show That Runs Sept. 8- Nov. 5
America’s first family of wildlife artists, Bob (from Delano), Joe (from Plymouth) and Jim (from Chaska) Hautman have reunited for Nature’s Finest: The Artistry of the Hautman Brothers, a limited engagement exhibit inspired by their deep appreciation for the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
All three brothers have received numerous honors and awards, and have been a strong presence in many state and national duck stamp competitions. At last count, the three brothers have seen their art featured on over 40 state and federal stamps. In fact, Bob, Joe and Jim Jim are the only brothers to win the prestigious Federal Duck Stamp Contest (they made history by sweeping the contest, first, second and third place – Joe, Bob, Jim – in 2015) and have collectively won 12 of the past 28 contests.
In addition to their new works, their 12 winning Federal Duck Stamp paintings from 1989 through 2017 will be displayed together for the first time. Those 7”x10” pieces are judged with the artist’s name on the back so the federal contest is anonymous. The winning painting is turned into a stamp measuring 1 ½ x 2 inches, so the Hautmans are masters at working small. This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to create larger work; the Hautmans initiated the Arboretum show. Photographs and sketches enhance the exhibit and help demonstrate the process of their internationally acclaimed works.
As Minneapolis Star Tribune (former) visual art critic Mary Abbe stated:
“Among conservationists and duck hunting enthusiasts, Minnesota’s Hautman brothers — Joe, Robert and Jim — are legendary for painting talents that have won an unprecedented 12 Federal Duck Stamp art contests. To those who wouldn’t know a mallard from a Thanksgiving turkey, that’s like saying they’re the Bob Dylan, Garrison Keillor and Coen brothers of their field: Minnesotans whose outsized accomplishments bring glory to the state.”
These unique artists not only showcase their talents for nature but their works have benefited the environment enormously. Through the sale of the $25 stamps, which are essentially the annual license to hunt waterfowl issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, habitat for birds and other wildlife is preserved. Stamp sales have raised in excess of $865 million dollars, 6.5 million acres have been protected and more than 300 national wildlife refuges were created or expanded with those funds. The three brothers have also donated many original paintings to conservation groups for fundraising. Their work has been displayed in the Oval Office, the Smithsonian and was commissioned by the U.N. for and endangered species stamp series.
While the winner of the Federal Duck Stamp contest receives no prize money, the artist retains the rights to sell prints of the work and the Hautmans will have limited edition prints for sale at the Arboretum, including some artist’s proofs, as well as other licensed merchandise.
The Sept. 7 opening night reception with the Hautmans is a ticketed event open to the public and includes a preview of the show, q and a with the artists and the documentary Million Dollar Duck, by Brian Golden Davis, a look into the strange and wonderful competition to win the federal stamp contest.
For more information: http://arboretum.umn.edu/HautmanBrosEvent.aspx
BOB HAUTMAN: His first Federal Duck Stamp win was the 1997-1998 stamp featuring a majestic, solitary Canada goose. Additionally, Bob has painted many award-winning state duck stamps in Texas, New Jersey and his home state, beginning with a win in 1983. The Hautman name and elements from Bob’s studio were used in the Academy Award winning Coen Brothers movie “Fargo.” (The two sets of brothers grew up just a few doors apart in St. Louis Park). Hautman credits his success to the influence of his parents and a supportive family environment. His mother Elaine was an accomplished painter; his father Tom bestowed on the family a love of the outdoors and a commitment to wildlife conservation. Bob currently resides on a farm in Minnesota where he is working to restore property back to wetlands and prairie.
JIM HAUTMAN: Born in 1964, Jim Hautman grew up in an artistic family surrounded by nature. His mother, two of his brothers and a sister are also artists. Jim burst onto the wildlife art scene in 1989, when at age 25, he became the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Federal Duck Stamp Contest. He has gone on to win the 1995, 1999, 2011 and 2017 Federal Duck Stamp Contests. In addition to his five federal wins, he has painted more than 30 state conservation stamp designs, including 5 for the state of Minnesota, and the 1990 Australian duck stamp. He specializes in North American wildlife, especially animals and birds from his native Minnesota.
In 1991 he was named Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year and won the award again in 2010 with his painting “First Light Canvasbacks.” Pheasants Forever selected him as Artist of the Year for the years 1993, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2017. In 2002, he was commissioned by the United Nations to paint a series of birds for their endangered species stamp collection.
Jim’s passion for art is matched by his passion for wildlife conservation. His artwork has helped raise more than $10,000,000 for wildlife and habitat conservation. Jim states, “I am fortunate to be able to make a living painting the things I love, and at the same time give back to the wildlife that inspires me.”
Publications such as The Smithsonian Magazine, Time Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Minneapolis Star Tribune have featured articles on his work. Jim’s art has been displayed in the Oval Office of the White House, the Smithsonian Institute, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, the United Nations, and in public and private collections throughout the world. Movie producers have featured his artwork in Fargo and The Million Dollar Duck.
Jim Hautman lives and works on the edge of the Minnesota River Valley with his wife Dorothy, two rescued cats and an abundance of wildlife.
JOE HAUTMAN: first experience as a professional artist came after he won the Federal Duck Stamp contest in 1991. Although he had never sold a painting, he suddenly found himself visiting President George H. Bush in the Oval Office, and receiving honors for his artistic achievements.
From an early age Joe loved to draw and paint, but he soon became fascinated by the sciences as well. His artistic talents took a back seat during his academic career. He studied physics and astronomy at the University of Minnesota, and eventually earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. In the midst of an active research career, Joe began to enter the Federal Duck Stamp contest as a way to exercise his artistic skills. His surprise victory provided the incentive he needed to return professionally to his first love. He now paints full-time and finds his art career as challenging and fulfilling as his science research. Joe again won the Federal contest for the 2002, 2008 and 2012 duck stamps, and recently became a five time winner with his rendition of flying trumpeter swans, which graced the 2016 stamp. His work features a variety of North American animals and, inspired by several trips to India, tigers and other Asian wildlife. The well-researched detail and accurate, naturalist settings in his paintings are a reflection of his scientific background, as well as his reverence for the wildlife and their habitat.
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