Born in Tompkinsville, New York, Belmore Browne studied at the New York School of Art and the Academie Julian in Paris. As famous in the annals of mountaineering as he is as an artist, his best-known and most widely collected paintings are of Alaska, Washington, California, and the Canadian Rockies. His paintings of animals and landscapes combine the attention to naturalistic detail of a naturalist and mountaineer with a bold, expressive painterly touch.
Browne first traveled to Alaska in 1888 as an eight-year-old child on a sightseeing trip with his family. Between 1902 and 1912 he made several return visits as a member of mammal-collecting expeditions for the American Museum of Natural History, and participated in three pioneering attempts to climb then-unscaled Mount McKinley, North America's highest peak. At the close of this period, Browne continued to write and to pursue mountaineering, but settled chiefly on his work as an artist.
After serving in World War I, the artist, with his wife Agnes, moved to Banff, Alberta, where they lived year-round at first, later wintering in California. For several years beginning in 1930, he was director of the Santa Barbara School of Fine Arts. During that time, he began producing background paintings for museum displays of mammal habitats. He produced notable examples for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Boston Museum of Science, and the American Museum of Natural History.
In addition to the extensive collection of Browne's paintings at the Glenbow-Alberta Institute in Calgary, his works are widely represented in major American museums, among them the National Museum of American Art, Shelburne (Vermont) Museum, National Museum of Wildlife Art, and Amherst College Museum.
ARTWORK: Belmore Browne
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