Owen Gromme

Year inducted: 2005
1896-1991

While Owen will forever be associated with the important and popular field of wildlife painting, his influence in the field of conservation and museum studies cannot be overestimated. Despite being largely self taught, he has been referred to as the “Dean of American Wildlife Artists,” with his work being dispersed throughout the United States in museum and private collections. After World War I he worked at the Milwaukee County Public Museum as taxidermist, collector, photographer, movie editor, background painter, botanist, geologist, sculptor, and curator of birds and mammals. In 1963, after 25 years of painting and study, he published the important book, “The Birds of Wisconsin,” which is considered by many to be his single biggest achievement. Gromme defended environmental causes for over half century, and donated his time and talents to conservation efforts. He received five honorary doctorates for his environmental work. This quote is from his address to the 1978 graduates at Marian College: “We owe a great deal to those who came before us, and it is our duty to pass on to posterity a world morally and physically as good as, or better than, the one we live in. By every legal means it is our duty to oppose those who out of greed and avarice, or for selfish or other reasons, would pollute, defile or destroy that which means life itself to every living being.”

Works by Owen Gromme