Tim Shinabarger – 2020 Brinton 101
Tim Shinabarger is an award-winning American sculptor and painter internationally known for his portrayals of wildlife. Today, his works in bronze can be found in major museums and private collections, including the Autry National Center’s Museum of the American West in Los Angeles and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Wyoming.
A native of Montana, Shinabarger spent his youth and early adulthood never far away from his beloved wilderness areas in the northern Rocky Mountains. The past few decades have seen Shinabarger going further afield, exploring some of the most remote corners of the continent to gather reference material for new pieces. “Nature is the source of my inspiration,” he says. “There is no replacement for total immersion if what you’re seeking is the truth.”
Critics hail Shinabarger’s work both for its mature, sophisticated approach to composition and for the artist’s ability to communicate the very spirit of his subjects. Expanding his corpus, Shinabarger has also won acclaim for his depictions of African and Alaskan megafauna. He is, without question one of the finest wildlife sculptors of his generation.
“Tim Shinabarger is like an elder statesman of wildlife art without actually being very old,” says Adam Duncan Harris, chief curator at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. He has risen to the top and has remained there with work that is consistently innovative and of the highest quality.”
Among some of his accolades: Being a four-time winner of the coveted James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award at the annual Prix de West Invitational and earning similar distinctions from the National Sculpture Society, National Museum of Wildlife Art, and Society of Animal Artists. Most recently, his monumental piece “Great Northern” was installed on the sculpture trail at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY. Another monumental piece “Black Timber Bugler” was also permanently placed at the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls, Mt. In 2019, he was also the recipient of the Bob Kuhn Wildlife Award at the Masters of the American West Show held at the Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, CA.
“The Bull Moose has been a subject I have returned to many times. As my skills as a sculptor develop, I find a need to reinterpret this gangly prince of the northern forests. They have such interesting form, proportions, and attitude that my thirst for this challenge is never quite satisfied. The trick is to always have something new to say and not repeat what has already been done. To develop an eye catching composition, pleasing gesture, and find a variety of ways to apply the clay as to help breath a soul and life into the piece. Fortunately, there is so much to say about this symbol of the northern wilderness that I love so much.” Tim Shinabarger