2008 – Featured Artist: John W. Taylor

Show Opening

Mr. Taylor was the featured artist at the Taneytown History Museum during October 2008. The exhibit featured many fine pieces of John Taylor’s work.

Read More About Mr. Taylor

John W. Taylor’s fascination with birds and art began in his fourth grade classroom, when the teacher formed a Junior Audubon Club. She also encouraged him in his initial attempts at bird drawing. Although he drew and painted birds even in those early years, the possibility of becoming a professional artist did not develop until he began work for the Division of Birds at the Smithsonian’s National Museum. There, a close association with artists and ornithologists formed the basis and inspiration for his life’s work.

After service in the military, during which time he visited and studied with bird artists in England and Germany, he returned to the Smithsonian and studied art and design at the Corcoran School of Art. He then accepted a position as artist-editor of the State of Maryland’s wildlife publication, The Maryland Conservationist. Headquartered in Annapolis, he was surrounded by the marshes, waterways and wildfowl of the Chesapeake Bay, which became the primary source of subject matter for his art.

Commissions from the National Geographic Society and the National Wildlife Federation gave him the impetus to try free-lancing. He continued to illustrate for state conservation magazines and created greeting cards and calendars. He designed Maryland’s first deer and trout stamps and was selected as the artist for the first State Waterfowl Stamp in 1974. He won the Maryland duck stamp contest in l979 and in 1984 was the winner of the Florida Duck Stamp contest. Mr. Taylor also designed Maryland’s series of five non-game conservation stamps.

In 1994, a book of his paintings, with a text adapted from his field diaries, was published by Johns Hopkins Press. Entitled “Birds of the Chesapeake Bay”, in it were reproduced forty paintings in full color. A second book, “Chesapeake Spring”, also based on field diaries, featured sixty-eight works in color, depicting all forms of life on the Chesapeake.

Taylor’s life and art were documented on public television in a recent segment of “Maryland Outdoors”.

During recent years, he has concentrated on easel paintings, working primarily in oils. His works include bird portraits as well as landscapes and marshscapes, often with a wildlife motif.

His studio overlooks Pennington Pond, an inlet off the Chesapeake near Mayo, Maryland.