Miller Gallery

Miller Gallery

Arnosky Gone Wild 

In Jim Arnosky’s first book, I Was Born in a Tree and Raised by Bees (1977), the character Crinkleroot made his debut. The loveable woodsman charmed readers, introducing them to the occupants of his wilderness abode. Today, a quick internet search will demonstrate that Crinkleroot is now more famous than the flower for which he was named. 

A self-taught artist, writer, and naturalist, Jim Arnosky has since written and illustrated 132 published books on nature subjects and illustrated 46 other books written by various authors. When Jim is not in his studio, his schedule is largely determined by the wildlife that he chooses to study. He and his wife Deanna travel extensively to the animals’ native habitats to collect reference for his books. Deanna photographs the animals, while Jim sketches them. 

“Through my study of nature, I have become convinced that every little thing is part of some whole and that if you look closely enough and think well enough, you will recognize the scheme of things. You may even find a place for yourself in that order. I have found my place. It is outdoors near the earth and its waters, near the birds and beasts.” 

– Jim Arnosky 

In 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mazza Museum acquired a large percentage of Jim Arnosky’s work: 1500 original illustrations representing 96 titles. It was from that acquisition that the works in this exhibition were selected. 

The Mazza Museum invites you to step off the beaten path to take in the sights and sounds of the natural world, as seen through the eyes of a naturalist, a writer, and above all, an artist. 

Dan Chudzinski