George Carlson1940 -
Born: July 3, 1940, Elmhurst, Illinois
Born in 1940, George Carlson began drawing seriously just a few short years later, at age seven. He went on to study at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Arizona, and he received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the University of Idaho in 1999.
Primarily a sculptor, he says, "From the first touch, sculpting has proven to be one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life." He proves this through his personal attachment to his work, which he attends at every stage in its creation, from casting to final detailing. Carlson is also known for his work in the pastel medium, which he has employed most often in his depictions of Mexico's Tarahumara Indians. His work with the Tarahumara people was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History in 1982.
Carlson has exhibited internationally and across the United States, won numerous awards for his works, and is often sought for both private and public commissions. He was the youngest ever winner of the Prix de West in 1975 for Courtship Flight. His monumental outdoor sculptures include The Greeting at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis and Hopi Girls at the New Mexico Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe. The National Museum of Wildlife Art commissioned a bust of artist Bob Kuhn from Carlson in 1994. Among his career honors are the Idaho Governor's Award of Excellence in the Arts (1996) and the Museum of the American West's Masters of the American West Award (2005). Additionally, Carlson has been a fellow in the National Sculpture Society since 1989.