Steamboat Art Museum opens new retrospective exhibition by renowned wildlife painter James Morgan |

Steamboat Art Museum opens new retrospective exhibition by renowned wildlife painter James Morgan

James Morgan’s painting, “Mae and June” (Courtesy photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The mission of artist James Morgan is simple — to capture the unseen details of the natural world through his own world view.

“Hopefully, people will take the time and effort to slow down and notice the not-so-obvious aspects of the natural world,” said Morgan, one of the foremost nature and wildlife painters in America today.

Steamboat Art Museum will showcase Morgan’s work in the “Moments in the Wild” retrospective exhibition, featuring 82 paintings spanning almost 40 years of work and highlighting a range of mediums, including sketches, studies, watercolors and oil.

If you go

What: First Friday Artwalk: Opening reception with James Morgan
When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7
Where: Steamboat Art Museum, 801 Lincoln Ave.
Complete Artwalk listings: Click here

The exhibition will open to the public for the first time from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday in conjunction with Steamboat’s First Friday Artwalk. The work will be on display until April 13.

“I would describe my efforts to make art as impressionistic realism with attention to the spirit of the subject,” Morgan said.

Playing with light, brushstrokes and texture in the style of the impressionists, Morgan said he’s constantly searching for different ways to express the beauty he sees.

“My main inspiration to pursue art originated from the endless wonders I see in nature everyday and when I first was interested in art — viewing and appreciating all the great art in the world,” Morgan added. “My approach is more intuitive than a structured method.”

His appreciation for the natural landscapes originated in central Utah, where he grew up. He studied art at Utah State University, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drawing and painting in 1970.

He now lives in northern Utah, continuing his appreciation for the outdoors and studying art through museums and books every day.

James Morgan’s painting, “Cliff Dwellers.”

“We’re honored to present this body of work created by James Morgan over his career,” said Betse Grassby, Steamboat Art Museum executive director. “His representation of the nature and wildlife which surrounds us also serves to remind us of the importance to preserve these habitats and this landscape.”  

The earliest work that will be featured in the exhibition, “Snow, Sage and Hare,” was completed in the late 1980s, and his most recently completed piece is “Notes on a Winter Marsh” with the subject being swans on a frozen marsh.

“I hope my way of seeing and interpreting my subjects has matured over the nearly 40 years of trying to make art,” Morgan said. “Hopefully, you will see a gradual change when viewing my work in the exhibition.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

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