Historic Minnesota Wildlife Artist Roger Preuss

"The Cougar" by Roger Preuss

"The Cougar" by Roger Preuss.

The heartbeat of an untamed spirit found only on the Northern Plains can be heard loud and clear in the pounding of a white tail’s hoofs through the brush or in the reverberation of wings against wind as a pheasant takes flight. The living, breathing landscape of wildlife that populates our region is a treasure to sportsmen and nature enthusiasts alike.

The Center for Western Studies is excited to present the gallery exhibition "Historic Minnesota Wildlife Artist Roger Preuss." This exhibition, which embodies the vitality of our natural fauna, showcases a number of the artist's works from the Center’s Fine Art Collection. 

Born in the southern lakes region of Minnesota in 1922, Preuss spent his youth in the wilderness developing an affinity for the living creatures that shared the woods with him. After graduating from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, he became a renowned wildlife and graphic artist.

"Wildlife has been my inspiration to be an artist, and an artist has to recognize the Creator, the perfecter of art. It is the key to all scenic and nature art." — Roger Preuss

Counted in his accomplishments are Wildlife of America conservation calendars that were distributed for many years beginning in 1955, and conservation stamps he designed for the National Wildlife Federation. In 1949, Preuss became the youngest artist to design a Federal Duck Stamp.

A writer as well as an artist, he authored and illustrated the book "Outdoor Horizons." His artwork was also featured in the book "Twilight Over the Wilderness" and in magazines such as Look, National Wildlife, and Today's Art. Preuss passed away in 2007.

The Center's exhibition features work Preuss completed for the South Dakota Conservation Digest in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This collection of original paintings and signed artist-proof prints was gifted to the Center by Wildlife of America in 1992. The work is significant to the Center’s mission of achieving a better understanding of the region, its heritage, and its resources, because of its exploration of the beauty of a resource that is sometimes viewed as a mere commodity. 

"Historic Minnesota Wildlife Artist Roger Preuss” opens November 3, 2017, and runs through April 16, 2018. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Viewing hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The exhibition is located in the Madsen/Nelson/Elmen Galleries of the Center's Fantle Building at 2121 South Summit Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD.