A Guide to Nature: The Art of Arthur Singer, with Alan Singer
Arthur Singer (1917-1990) was an internationally recognized artist whose work became a crucial factor in a wave of interest in nature and conservation. Like that of Roger Tory Peterson, Arthur’s art helped educate a public eager to see, understand, and protect the environment.
Arthur’s paintings have been featured in gallery and museum shows, prints, books, collectibles, and U.S. Postage stamps. Later in his career he enlisted his son, Alan, to help him revise books and create botanical backgrounds for his compositions in the tradition of John James Audubon and his sons.
From the time of his youth in New York City, Arthur loved to portray nature, often sketching wildlife at the Bronx Zoo. He also loved jazz; Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway commissioned some of his earliest artwork. Arthur studied Carl Rungius and the murals of Francis Lee Jacques at the American Museum of Natural History and was entranced by the illustrations of Louis Agassiz Fuertes and Audubon as his own career as an illustrator and designer took off.
After serving in the army during World War II, Arthur was married and had two sons, Paul and Alan. In the early 1950’s Arthur broke into publishing with illustrations for Sports Illustrated and World Book Encyclopedia. He then went on to create the artwork for Birds of the World, Birds of North America, Birds of Europe, and many other publications.
In the early 1980’s the U.S. Postal Service asked Arthur to create a series of state bird and flower stamps; 50 commemorative stamps were issued with birds by Arthur and flowers by his son Alan.
A Guide to Nature features some 70 works that include a range of book illustrations and designs along with full-scale paintings that frame the arc of Arthur Singer’s spectacular career. The exhibition also includes a selection of field guide illustrations from the Institute’s renowned collection of Peterson originals, providing never-before-seen opportunities to compare and contrast Arthur’s original illustrations with those of his friend, colleague and competitor Roger Tory Peterson.