Robert Bateman (painter)
24 May 1930|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Residence||Saltspring Island, British Columbia|
|Alma mater||Victoria College in the University of Toronto, Ontario College of Education|
|Known for||Painting, wildlife|
Robert was always interested in art, but never intended to make a living from it. He was fascinated by the natural world in his childhood; he recorded the sightings of all of the birds in the area of his house in Toronto and did small paintings with birds in their habitats. He found inspiration from the Group of Seven; later, he became interested in making abstract paintings of nature. It was not until the mid-1960s that he changed to his present style, realism. In 1954, he graduated with a degree in geography from Victoria College in the University of Toronto. Afterwards, he attended Ontario College of Education. Starting in 1957, Bateman travelled around the world for 14 months in a Land Rover with his friend Bristol Foster. As they made their way through Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia, Bateman painted and sketched what he saw.
Bateman became a high school teacher of art and geography, and continued focusing his life on art and nature. His work started to receive major recognition in the 1970s and 1980s. Robert Bateman's show in 1987, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, drew the largest crowd for a living artist.
The majority of Bateman's paintings are acrylic on various media, and have been shown in major one-man exhibitions around the world. Bateman also has numerous books devoted to his works. After two decades as a high school teacher, he became a full-time artist in 1976. A year later Mill Pond Press started making signed, limited edition prints of some of his paintings; over the years, these prints resulted in millions of dollars being raised for environmental causes.
In 1999, the Audubon Society of Canada declared Bateman one of the top 100 environmental proponents of the 20th century.
Robert Bateman Secondary School in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Robert Bateman High School in Burlington, Ontario, and Robert Bateman Public School, Ottawa, Ontario are named for him. He is an Honorary Director of the North American Native Plant Society, and has received thirteen honorary doctorates from institutions like the University of Victoria, University of Toronto, Royal Roads University, and McGill University.
A permanent home for his works can be found in the Inner Harbour of Victoria, BC. The Robert Bateman Centre houses the definitive collection of his works, and also includes a dynamic program of public events. It supports the Bateman Foundation, a not for profit organization to encourage dialogue about humanity's relationship to the natural world.
Robert Bateman married Suzanne Bowerman in 1960. They had three children: Alan, Sarah, and John.
In 1975, Bateman married Birgit Freybe Bateman. Their two children are Christopher and Robert.
In the early 1980s Bateman and Birgit moved to Salt Spring Island. The couple purchased a home located on Reginald Hill Road, looking out on Fulford Harbour, that was designed by Hank Schubart and originally built for actress Eileen Brennan. In the early 2000s the Batemans moved from the Reginald Hill house to a house on a lake in Salt Spring designed by their son in law, Robert Barnard.
- Life Member, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
- Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal, 1977
- Officer of the Order of Canada, 1984
- Member of Honour Award, World Wildlife Fund, 1985 (presented by HRH the Prince Phillip)
- Society of Animal Artists Award of Excellence 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1990, 2008; Lifetime Achievement 2010
- Lescarbot Award presented by the Canadian Government, 1992
- Rachel Carson Award presented by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Washington D.C., 1996
- Order of British Columbia, 2001
- Rungius Medal presented by the National Museum of Wildlife Art, 2001
- Queen's Jubilee Medal, 2002
- Roland Michener Conservation Award presented by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, 2003
- Ideas for Life Award, Canadian Environment Awards, 2006
- Human Rights Defender Award presented by Amnesty International, 2007
- Niagara Escarpment Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009
- Royal Canadian Geographical Society Gold Medal, 2013
- World Ecology Award, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2015.
- The Art of Robert Bateman. Biography by Ramsay Derry. Madison Press Books, 1981. (French ed. 1982, German ed. 1984)
- The World of Robert Bateman. Biography by Ramsay Derry. Madison Press Books, 1984
- Robert Bateman: An Artist in Nature. Biography by Rick Archbold. Madison Press Books, 1990
- Robert Bateman: Natural Worlds. Text by Rick Archbold. Madison Press Books, 1996
- Safari. Robert Bateman and Rick Archibald. 1998
- Thinking Like a Mountain. Robert Bateman and Rick Archbold. Penguin Books, 2000
- Birds. Robert Bateman and Kathryn Dean. Madison Press Books, 2002
- Backyard Birds. Robert Bateman with Ian Coutts. Madison Press Books, 2005
- Birds of Prey. Robert Bateman with Nancy Kovacs. Madison Press Books, 2007
- Polar Worlds. Robert Bateman with Nancy Kovacs. Madison Press Books, 2008
- Vanishing Habitats. Robert Bateman with Nancy Kovacs. Madison Press Books, 2010
- Bateman: New Works. Greystone Books, 2010
- Hope & Wild Apples. Bateman Foundation, 2012
- Sight Unseen. Paul Gilbert, Bateman Foundation, 2014
- Life Sketches: A Memoir. Simon & Schuster, 2015
- Robert Bateman's Canada. Simon & Schuster, 2017
- "Biography". Robert Bateman Website. June 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-23.
- "The Life And Times of Robert Bateman". CBC News. 1997.
- "Robert Bateman, (Originals)". Peninsula Gallery. Retrieved 2014-12-23.
- "Algonquin Park Untitled". Pegasus Gallery. Retrieved 2014-12-23.
- "Environmental Paintings". Robert Bateman Website. Retrieved 2014-12-23.
- Pound, Richard W. (30 March 2007). 'Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates'. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. p. 807. ISBN 978-1554550098. (Subscription required (help)).
- "The 2014-2015 NANPS Board of Directors". North American Native Plant Society. Archived from the original on 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2014-12-23.
- "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert Bateman (painter).|
- Robert Bateman (official website)
- The Robert Bateman Centre (official website)
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: the Life And Times of Robert Bateman
- Robert Bateman's Ideas Bateman's thoughts on various issues
- Interview with the Oxonian Review in January 2011
- Audio interview with Bateman, October 2010