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Painter and Sculptor
1928 - 1998
See into, not look at, natures wonders.
Richard Amundsen was born in the Sacramento Valley, California, in 1928. He and his brother Robert were raised and educated in San Francisco where he began his career as an illustrator for an art service. At an early age Amundsen learned to "see into, not look at, natures wonders."
In 1963, Richard decided to become a free lance illustrator specializing in wildlife. While living in Seattle, he used a New York City agent to obtain commissions from major publications including Field & Stream (for 16 years), Outdoor Life, Golden Books and Random House, and Reader's Digest. He also illustrated the Remington Arms wildlife calendars and Leanin Tree Christmas Cards.
As part of the transition to fine arts painter, Amundsen moved to Cody,
Wyoming, where Harold McCracken called him "tops in his field". He eventually moved to Bozeman, Montana, "near two of the best wildlife laboratories in the country, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks." His commissioned painting of Theodore Roosevelt in the high country was presented to President Nixon, earning Amundsen the Presidential Seal. He lectured on "animals in art" at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, shown with the Northwest Rendezvous group, and won the National Will Turkey Federation's 1978 stamp competition. He was also well known for modeling bronze statuettes of wildlife.
Amundsen said of his work, "Making paintings of birds, fish, and mammals requires constant study - in addition to my extensive library, I am an avid outdoorsman. Much of the accuracy in my paintings comes from personal experience through hunting, fishing, dog training, picture taking and research trips."
Richard Amundsen died in 1998 at the age of 70.
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Copyright © 2002-2006 Robin Chew
Written by Norman Vaux, September 2002