Ernest Thompson Seton: A World Alive

witt coverseton portrait

The Rocky Mountain Land Series kicks off its summer season this coming Saturday as author David L. Witt discusses his new book Ernest Thompson Seton: The Life and Legacy of an Artist and Conservationist — the first biography of this legendary naturalist in many years. Seton (1860-1946) was one of America’s most popular authors and lecturers in the early 1900’s. He wrote over 40 books, many of which are in print to this day, including Wild Animals I Have Known, cited by both Rudyard Kipling and David Attenborough for its early influence on their lives.

Ernest Thompson Seton was also one of the most important and technically accomplished wildlife illustrators of his time, and his concepts for bird identification influenced the likes of Roger Tory Peterson and others.

David L. Witt tells a fascinating story of a remarkable and complex life. His new book is also a joy to look through, with hundreds of historic photographs, and page after page of Seton’s artwork and illustrations. Learn much, much more at this Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Land Series program (details below)!

grizzlyhuntedart anatomy
Three by Seton: The Biography of a Grizzly, Lives of the Hunted, Art Anatomy of Animals

sleeping wolf
Ernest Thompson Seton’s The Sleeping Wolf: “Seton wrote that the work took a full month at several hours per day, a claim easily believed by the detail he captured. Everything we might consider noble and beautiful about a wild animal comes through in this painting. The setting is so beautiful that we feel as if we have come upon this animal in a state of total peace in a remote woodland.” — David L. Witt

sharp-shinned hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk, Ernest Thompson Seton’s first known painting, 1876.

Please join us as the Rocky Mountain Land Series presents:

David L. Witt, author of Ernest Thompson Seton: The Life and Legacy of an Artist and Conservationist

WHEN: Saturday, June 26th, 2pm

WHERE: at the Tattered Cover’s LoDo Store (16th & Wynkoop in lower downtown Denver)


One thought on “Ernest Thompson Seton: A World Alive

  1. David Witt’s book is a beautiful blend of art and history, and casts needed light on Ernest Thompson Seton’s legacy. Seton’s books of animal stories inspired Rudyard Kipling and countless youths who grew up during the first half of the 20th century, many of whom would go on to do great work on behalf of the environment. These include David Attenborough (who wrote the foreword), Roger Tory Peterson, Gary Snyder, and Pete Seeger, who would call Seton “my guru.” Add to Seton’s legacy the Scouting movement, Woodcraft (whose council fires still burn brightly in a handful of North American summer camps), modern tracking methods, and much more and one has to wonder why Seton has been so neglected by scholars of the conservation and environmental movements. Bravo, David, for keeping the sacred fire burning!

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