Growing up, my grandpa would always let me bid on a wildlife print at the local Ducks Unlimited banquet. It was a silent auction and he’d always give me his maximum bid and it was up to me to get it for less. At the time, I didn’t really care a whole lot about art, but apparently many other hunters did. Now I understand why, it wasn’t just any art, it was Redlin art.
Sadly, Terry Redlin passed away Sunday night (April 24, 2016) at the age of 78. Redlin was a world-renowned wildlife artist from Watertown, South Dakota, who captivated many with his lifelike paintings of rural America.
Often nestled between deer mounts, Redlin’s works are no strangers to a hunters wall. My Grandpa and dad who’ve both since passed, have several Redlin prints and plates still hanging on the walls, including my favorite called “Best Friends”. Every time I walk by one of these pieces, it either takes me back to special hunt or place I’d like to be. Perhaps this is why I’ve got the Woodland Canoe Collection hanging in my office…it takes us back to a simpler time. That’s the real legacy Terry Redlin left behind.
The painting of “Best Friends” depicts a hunter watching the evening waterfowl migration over a rural town with his hunting dog. (Terry Redlin Art Center)
South Dakota Governor Dennis Duagaard said the state’s flag would fly at half-staff on the day of Redlin’s funeral, saying:
“Terry Redlin was an iconic South Dakota artist. For many South Dakotans, Terry’s work brought to life our fondest memories of our state’s outdoor heritage and rural roots. He has left a legacy in Watertown and throughout the nation.”
Redlin captivated America with paintings of small town U.S.A., wildlife scenes, log cabins on the lake, and farmsteads that ultimately earned him the title of “America’s Most Popular Artist” for nine years straight during the 1990s. Much of Redlin’s original artwork is on display for the public at The Redlin Art Center in his hometown of Watertown.
Terry Redlin’s life will forever live on through the paintings on our walls.
What’s your favorite Redlin piece?