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As a self-taught artist, wildlife painter Robert Hines parlayed his passion into a quiet but prolific career.

He landed a job as a staff artist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife by the time he was 27 and went on to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, producing hundreds of illustrations before his death in 1994. Hines’ work, depicting fish, waterfowl and other creatures against moody and often enchanting woodland backdrops, is known to collectors of wildlife artists the world over, but not to most Americans.

A new exhibition running through May 25 in the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (311 Curtis St., Jamestown) aims to change that. “Bob Hines: National Wildlife Artist,” described by the institute as “one of the most important exhibitions of nature and conservation art ever assembled,” was assembled with the help of Hines scholar John Juriga of Elmira. Juriga’s book of the same title has been praised by art and wildlife experts as a successful attempt to rescue Hines from obscurity.

“Bob Hines was one of the best wildlife artists of the twentieth century,” author Linda Lear wrote in her blurb for Juriga’s book. “Hines’s public and private works deserve to stand on their own as noteworthy contributions to the incipient environmental movement.”

Call 665-2473 or visit www.rtpi.org.

– Colin Dabkowski