Thomas Nygard Gallery - 19th and 20th Century American Art




Carl Rungius was born in Berlin, Germany and was educated at the gymnasium Burg bef Magdeburg und Glessen.  He studied art at the Berlin Art School, the School of Applied Arts, and at the Academy of Fine Arts as the pupil of Paul Meyerheim.  He began his art career in Germany, painting in Berlin until the age of twenty-five when he emigrated to the United Sates.


After arriving in America, he established his first studio in New York City and built a summer home and studio in Banff, Alberta.  He made his first real sketching trip to Wyoming and Yellowstone Park in 1895.  This trip made a real mark on him and he began to travel extensively after that time.


Rungius traveled from Arizona to Alaska, hunting, sketching and painting, making his specialty Western big game animals.  Some favorites were moose, caribou, and bear, as well as mountain sheep, goats, elk, deer and antelope.  He also painted the cowboys he met along the way but left the Indians and Pueblos to other artists of the West.


His lifelong patron and friend, William Hornaday discovered him at Knoedler’s Art Gallery in New York.  Hornaday was an early member of the Boone and Crockett Club, chief taxidermist at the National Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Camp Fire Club.  He was largely involved in conservation and stressed natural habitats for animals rather than cages.  This was important in the development of Rungius’s maturation as an artist.


His work today is a valuable record of the animals and their environment at that particular place and time.  He painted directly from nature and captured the very essence of his subject matter.  The Glenbow Foundation in Calgary, Alberta maintains his Rockies' studio as a museum and as a tribute to the work of this fine artist.  The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming serves as the greatest depository outside of Canada of his works.

(1869 - 1959)

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133 East Main Street

Bozeman, Montana 59715

 phone: 406.586.3636