(Everett) Douglas Allen Jr [NRA 2009]
First name: (Everett) ;
Middle name: Douglas ;
Last name: Allen, Jr. ;
Member: Non-resident artist member ;
Begin: 2009 ;
End: n/a ;
Douglas Allen was born in Jersey City in 1935. His art training started early when his father, a printing engineer and avid collector of books and prints illustrated by Frederic Remington, saw that Douglas had a natural flair for art and decided to cultivate it. As Douglas Allen recalls, “We would spend Saturday mornings in the rare book shops. In the afternoons we would visit with book and art dealer friends of my dad, or at the American Museum of Natural History, listening to lectures by William R. Leigh in Akeley’s African Hall.”
During his early school years, he immersed himself in the Scribner’s Classics which were illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. “These paintings had a big influence on me. I even copied a few for early art school assignments.” said Allen.
The mold was slowly being cast toward what would become a career as an illustrator and painter. In grammar school he began producing prize winning posters. This success encouraged him to enroll in the Ford Art School, in Jersey City, New Jersey for weekend classes. These classes continued through high school. Also during this period, he spent his free time sketching animals at the Bronx Zoo. Around the age of fourteen he met the famous wildlife illustrator, Paul Branson, whom he would later study under. His interests gravitated more and more toward sketching and painting animals, so it is not surprising that he should win first prize for a Bull Moose in a National Wildlife Association contest. Later as a high school senior he painted a three by fourteen foot mural for his school’s library. By graduation, he knew that illustrating and painting wild life would be his chosen field of interest.
To sharpen his skills, in 1953 he enrolled at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts. There he learned from such outstanding artists as W.J. Aylward, (a student of Howard Pyle), John R. Grabach, N.A., and Colonel Charles Waterhouse, who was the official artist for the United States Marine Corps. Feeling better equipped, he started doing adventure illustrations for a publisher in New Jersey until he went into the Army.
Shortly after returning from the service, an opportunity arose that would set the stage for his life’s work. He was selected to illustrate a magazine series of big game animals of North America written by Jack O’Connor for Outdoor Life Magazine. This series became so popular it was later turned into a book. The first printing of the book is now a collectors item. This major achievement led to a steady stream of commissions throughout the years. At last count Allen had illustrated thirty five books for such leading publishing houses as Harper and Row, Scribner, Harcourt Brace, Reader’s Digest, etc…
In the late 1950s the magazine industry was changing, substituting photographs for illustrations. Many of the top wildlife illustrators were starting new careers doing easel paintings for the galleries. Seeing their successes, Allen decided to give it a try and in 1961 had his first one man show. Still doing illustrations on a part time basis, he was becoming more recognized each year for his gallery paintings. Although, his illustrative work was characteristically very tight and “noodled”, his gallery pieces are distinguished by their looser style, heavier impasto and rich color movement. These qualities combined with his unique sense of design have given his work its own unique form of contemporary realism.
To keep his paintings accurate and to capture the mood and feeling of his subject matter, he still makes yearly treks to the wilderness areas of Montana, Wyoming and British Columbia. His work is represented in many private and corporate collections as well as in a numbhe Wildlife Museums throughout the United States and Canada. He is member of the Salmagundi Club in New York City and is an executive board member of the Society of Animal Artists. In this period when we are so saturated with ordinary wildlife art, Allen’s work stands out resplendent among his peers
Digital-born document number:
Record birth date:
July 18, 2019
Last updated: July 15, 2021 at 16:07 pm