Albert Hochbaum, Available Artwork
(1911 - 1988)
Highly respected artist, naturalist, author and illustrator, Hans Albert Hochbaum was born in Greeley, Colorado in 1911, and grew up in the mountains near Boise, Idaho. He inherited a love of the natural environment from his father who, from an early age, taught him to respect nature. He earned his BA at Cornell University where he studied science, art, and ornithology. The young American came to Canada as a graduate student in 1937 to study waterfowl management. His initial objective was to assist his professor, the renowned scientist and scholar Aldo Leopold, who had been given the task of improving the wild bird hatchery program at Delta Duck Station, later known as the Delta Waterfowl Research Station. The boy from the mountains fell in love with the prairie and its wildfowl, as well as a local girl. He was appointed the Director of the Delta Waterfowl Research Station in 1938 and married Joan Ward, the daughter of Delta's gamekeeper the same year. His twin talents for painting and writing found expression in his passion for prairie wildlife. His books and paintings attracted worldwide recognition and contributed to the establishment of Delta as a centre for waterfowl research. His Master of Science thesis became his first book, The Canvasback on a Prairie Marsh, which was first published in 1944. It won the Brewster Award, presented by the American Ornithologists Union. His next book, Travels and Traditions of Waterfowl(1955), won the Wildlife Society's award for best publication of the year. Other significant works followed, including To Ride the Wind, (1973) and Magnificent Voyagers: Waterfowl of North America, published in 1988. He was a great storyteller in both his painting and the written word. In 1994, six years after his death, his writings, drawings, and paintings were compiled in a fourth book entitled Wings over the Prairies. In addition to his own writings, Albert Hochbaum illustrated the work of many other authors. In his mind, most significant were his illustrations for Lyle K. Sowls' book, Prairie Ducks, A study of their Behavior, Ecology and Management, published in 1955. A graduate student at Delta, Sowls' work in Prairie Duckswas an extension of Hochbaum's The Canvasback on a Prairie Marsh. Hochbaum also illustrated noted American Scientist Paul Errington's books: Of Men and Marshesand On Predation and Life. During the mid 1950s Albert Hochbaum and Paul Errington were designated the top environmental scientists in North America and were featured in a Life Magazine photomontage. Other diverse projects were Arctic Ordeal: The Journal of John Richardson, Surgeon on the Franklin Expedition, edited by C. Stuart Houston, and Habitat, a book of poetry by Jocelyn Baker, each illustrated by Hochbaum. During his long career at the Delta Waterfowl research station Hochbaum also served as Director of the Wildfowl Foundation and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. He held professorships at the University of Regina, as well as the University of B.C. and taught the art of writing in Yellowknife between 1970 and 1974. In 1961 he was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba and later that same decade he received the Province of Manitoba's Golden Boy Award and the Order of the Hunt. He was honoured nationally when he was conferred with the Order of Canada in 1978. Two years before his death in 1988, he received the American Wildlife Federation Special Achievement Award for a lifetime of work dedicated to the preservation of prairie wildlife in North America.