Robert Warren Hines, born 1912 in Columbus, Ohio, developed his appreciation for nature and wildlife as a young boy. Through his involvement with the Boy Scouts, taxidermy, hunting, fishing, and art instruction, Hines combined these experiences and his skills to build an art profession spanning over five decades.
Hines began his career as a staff artist for the Ohio Division of Conservation and Natural Resources in 1939 and moved to the Washington DC area to take the position of staff artist for the United States Fish & Wildlife Service from 1948 until his retirement in 1981. Throughout his lifetime Hines: illustrated several major books and pamphlets; created the 1946 Federal Duck Stamp; participated in the first U.S. postage stamp program featuring American wildlife by creating the three initial images; and revised the Federal Duck Stamp competition program that remains in effect today.
Hines once said, “Now a lot of people would say drawing a fish is easy. Well, it is if you know what you are drawing. From my way of looking at it, a fish has its own set of muscles and its own way of using them. They use their fins differently each time they want to do something—aggressive, recessive, flying or whatever. You have to show these things if you want to do a good job.”
For countless mid-to-late twentieth century Americans, Hines’ wildlife illustrations were their introduction to elusive or far-away animals. His obsession for detail and authentic representation, whether the subject was still or in motion, shaped his work into important teaching tools for the public. Many contemporary wildlife artists attribute their inspiration directly to Bob Hines.
Bob Hines passed in 1994 leaving an incredible legacy of art, education, and wildlife preservation.
All images courtesy of John D. Juriga.