|George Miksch Sutton (1898–1982) is
revered by bird lovers everywhere for his beautiful paintings. A
Victorian gentleman, adventurer, and raconteur, he was trained in the
sciences but felt equally at home in the arts.
Jerome Jackson, a friend and colleague of Sutton, draws on extant
correspondence, interviews, and personal knowledge to offer a portrait
of the artist that will surprise those who knew him only in his later
years. Capturing a superb ornithologist who worked under the most
inhospitable conditions, from the arctic to the tropics, Jackson shows
us a person who guarded his privacy and struggled with uncertainty.
Jackson depicts a Renaissance man whose life was, more than a search
for birds, a quest for knowledge through science and art in the service
of humanity. Tracing Sutton’s roots through two generations,
Jackson reveals what set him apart from other ornithologists and bird
artists. Focusing on Sutton’s formative years — how
he acquired his love of birds at an early age and how that love guided
his life — Jackson then relates Sutton’s adventures
in the Arctic, Mexico, Oklahoma, and elsewhere.
Jackson’s account fills in details missing from
Sutton’s autobiography, Bird
Student. Gracing the book are
fifty reproductions of Sutton’s art — twenty-eight
in full color — including early, unpublished, or obscure
works along with non-avian subjects.
George Miksch Sutton
Scientist, and Teacher
by Jerome A. Jackson
University of Oklahoma Press,