Tony Angell

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Tony Angell
Known forbird illustration, sculpture
AwardsV&A Illustration Awards, 2006

Tony Angell is an American wildlife artist, environmental educator, and writer.[1]:704 He has lived in Seattle, Washington, since 1959.[2][3]


Angell was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1940.[4] His father was a private eye, and his mother a painter and teacher.[5] Angell grew up in the San Fernando Valley.[6]:88 As a child, explored the Los Angeles River to hunt and fish, as well as the local beaches to surf and skin dive. This early exposure to nature instilled in him a life-long respect for the outdoors and native animals. He went to Seattle in 1959[2] on an athletics scholarship[5] and obtained a BA in Speech Communications and a MA degree from the University of Washington.[6]:88

Angell taught high school and junior college communication courses before assuming the position of State Supervisor in the Office of Environmental Education for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction of Washington State. He remained in this position for over thirty years.

He was active in the Nature Conservancy, with time as chairman and as a member of the board of its Washington chapter.[7]:289 He received the national organization's highest award of the Golden Oak Leaf for his work in establishing the Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area. Likewise he was recognized as a Champion of Puget Sound by the Puget Sound Keeper's Alliance in 2014. His outreach with both his writing and artwork resulted in his election into the Hall of Fame of the Department of Communications at the University of Washington.


Angell makes sculptures in bronze and stone and has shown them regularly for some forty years.[7]:289 He has worked in chlorite, granite, marble, sandstone, serpentine, slate and soapstone.[5]

Among his many public commissions Angell includes Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, the City of Redmond, WA, the Mount Baker Ski Area, Sleeping Lady in Leavenworth, WA and the public libraries of Bainbridge and Lopez Island. His work is part of the Harborview Medical Center and the public collection of the Seattle Business Center. His sculptural work is included in the collections of the Museum of Northwest Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the Frye Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum, as well as the Gilcrease Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.[7]:289 Cornell University has his paintings in their collections as does the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England.

Awards for his artwork include the Master Artist Medal from the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Gallery of Wausau Wisconsin, and a first prize award in illustration from the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2006. His sculpture "Stretching Kestrel" received the Chilmark Award from the National Sculpture Society, an organization of which he is an elected Fellow.

In 2016, the Museum of Northwest Art awarded a Northwest Luminaries award in Angell's name. These awards are named in honor of those who have left a lasting impact on the Pacific Northwest region (including Patti Warashina and art historian Bill Holm). These awards are then given to artists of promise as chosen by a distinguished nominating panel and jury.

Angell acknowledges a number of influences on his work: the bird illustrators Don Eckelberry and Morris Graves, the carvings of the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, and a Japanese Edo-period screen carved with crows in the Seattle Asian Art Museum.[8][9]


Writing and illustrating more than a dozen books related to nature, Angell has received the Washington State Writers Award for four of his works including Birds of Prey of the Pacific Northwest Slope, Ravens, Crows, Magpies and Jays (University of Washington Press) and In the Company of Crows and Ravens (Yale University Press). His most recent book, T he House of Owls (Yale University Press) received the 2015 National Outdoor Book Award for nature and the environment writing. His book Puget Sound Through an Artist's Eye (University of Washington Press) is a collection of his artistic works in stone, bronze and line along with a narrative that describes his artistic response to the region he lives in.

As author and illustrator:
As illustrator

Over the past half century the artist and his work has been featured in a number of newspaper and magazines articles. Among the most recent in news have been:



  1. ^ Allan Werden (December 1983). Marine Birds and Mammals of Puget Sound by Tony Angell, Kenneth C. Balcomb, III (review). The Wilson Bulletin 95 (4): 704-705. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Mary Ann Gwinn (20 November 2009). Tony Angell evokes Northwest nature in 'Puget Sound Through an Artist's Eye'. Seattle Times. Accessed October 2015.
  3. ^ Elizabeth Hunter. Tony Angell, December Exhibition. 10/5/2009. Foster/White Gallery. print.
  4. ^ William H. Gerdts, David J. Wagner (1998). Natural Habitat: Contemporary Wildlife Artists of North America. New York: Spanierman Gallery. ISBN 9780945936183.
  5. ^ a b c Richard Seven (1 June 2003). Wrestling with Stone. Southwest Art. (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b Don T. Luce (1994). Wildlife Art in America (exhibition catalogue). Minneapolis, MN: James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History, College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota. ISBN 9781884879005.
  7. ^ a b c John Marzluff, Tony Argell (2012). Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  8. ^ Jamaican Crows. London: Victoria & Albert Museum. Accessed October 2015.
  9. ^ Mary Ann Gwinn (23 October 2005). "Crows and Ravens": Fear and fascination, evermore. Seattle Times. Accessed October 2015.