Louis Agassiz Fuertes

1874 - 1927
Painter, illustrator
Origin: United States
Born: February 7, 1874, Ithaca, New York
Died: August 22, 1927, Potter's Crossing, Unadilla, New York

A well-known painter and illustrator of birds, Louis Agassiz Fuertes was born on February 7, 1874 in Ithaca, New York. He was named after Louis Agassiz, a Harvard professor and naturalist. Growing up in Ithaca, Fuertes displayed an early interest in depicting birds. At the age of 14, he painted his first bird -- a male Red Crossbill. In 1892, he went on a family trip to Europe, where he was exposed to old master artworks, as well as many new species of birds. His parents' disapproval of painting as a career led him to enroll in Cornell University's Engineering School in 1893, from which institution he would graduate with an architecture degree, and also teach from 1923-1927. Upon graduating from college, he studied art for a year with Abbot H. Thayer, with whom he would remain in contact throughout his life. Another mentor Fuertes regarded highly was Elliot Coues, a leading ornithologist at the time.

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Arctic Gyr Falcon
1926, Watercolor
Louis Agassiz Fuertes
United States, 1874 - 1927
Autumn in the Adirondacks
c. 1925, Oil on Canvas
Louis Agassiz Fuertes
United States, 1874 - 1927