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Robert W. Hines, Talented - and Self-taught - Wildlife Artist

Bob Hines was an extremely talented - and self-taught - wildlife artist. Hines turned to art as a way to share the wonders of nature during the tough times of the Great Depression. His real career started in Ohio, working for the state, but by the late 1940s he joined the US Fish and Wildlife Service, serving as their only official artist-in-residence.

1946-47 Duck Stamp, by Bob Hines                                                    Bob Hines & Rachel Carson * Photo by Rex Gary Schmidt, USFWS
His first boss at the FWS was none other than Rachel Carson. The artwork that Hines eventually did for Carson's highly successful Edge of the Sea (1955) brought his skills to the attention of a general public. But Bob Hines had already produced the artwork for the 1946 Federal Duck Stamp and, starting in the early 1950s, he managed the stamp's artwork competition. He did this for more than thirty years.

His prolific artwork seemed to appear everywhere in the 1950s and 1960s.


His compact and popular guide, Ducks at a Distance, was distributed by the millions!

Indeed, Bob Hines drew illustrations of birds, mammals, fish, and other wildlife that even today continue to circulate  - available as free government-supported clip-art. (Hint for bird educators: start looking here ... and give him credit if you use the free artwork!)

An exhibit of Bob Hines' artwork is running now through May 25, 2014, at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, NY. Learn more.

There's more about Bob Hines at


Thanks for this remembrance of Bob Hines go to Paul Baicich, who writes the "Quick Takes" column for Bird Watcher's Digest.

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