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Awards & Publications


Call of the Wild

Rungius Medal

The Rungius Medal, named in honor of renowned artist Carl Rungius, is among the art awards presented from time to time by the National Museum of Wildlife Art to individuals who have made lifetime or extraordinary contributions to the artistic interpretation and preservation of wildlife and its habitat. In establishing the Rungius medal, it is the intention of Trustees to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations across fields ranging from the fine arts to the natural sciences. Symbolized by a beautiful, specially designed gold medal, the Rungius Medal is the Museum’s highest honor.

2019 | Robert Glen

Robert Glen’s ability to capture the essence and movement in sculptures is due to his lifelong study of anatomy and his insistence on working from live subjects and not from photographs. Rob lives and works in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania. His public commissions include one of Texas’s proudest monuments, and one of the largest equestrian sculptures in the world, the phenomenal Mustangs of Las Colinas.

2017 | Joel Sartore

Photographer, speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, and 24-year contributor to National Geographic magazine. Sartore is also a National Geographic Fellow and the founder of the National Geographic Photo Ark. He is recognized for his profound photography efforts and dedication to making people think about how they impact animals and nature.

2010 | John F. Turner

Wildlife biologist, Author, Wyoming State Legislator, Director of United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientive Affairs, Dude Rancher, and more. Recognized for constant attention to the preservation of wildlife and wild habitat.

2007 | Bill and Joffa Kerr

Museum Founders, and sculptor (Joffa). Leaders in the field of collecting and conserving wildlife art, lifetime commitment to education and sharing art and the wild.

2006 | Clifford P. Hansen

Businessman, Rancher, former Wyoming State Governor, former US Senator of Wyoming. A long time steward of open spaces and ranch land in Teton County, Wyoming.

2005 | E. O. Wilson

Pulitzer Prize winning author and professor. Studies in fields ranging from entomology, myrmecology, animal behavior, evolution psychology, island biogeography, biodiversity, and environmental ethics. He has enhanced awareness of evolutionary principles and the need for environmental protection.

2004 | Kenneth Bunn

Sculptor. Academician of the National Academy of Design, Fellow of the National Sculpture Society and recipient of the Frederic Remington and Robert Lougheed Awards.

2003 | Dr. J. Michael Fay

Conservationist. Working at the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society, Fay carried out pivotal projects in Central Africa that have resulted in important conservation impacts in the region, including working with the Congolese government to create Nouabale Ndoki Natural Park.

2002 | Dr. David Love

Geologist and Author. Directed the compilation of Wyoming State geological maps in 1955 and 1985—these remain the only complete maps of the state’s geology. Research geologist for the US Geological Survey for 45 years.

2001 | Bertram C. “Bert” Raynes

Naturalist, Bird Watcher, and Author. Pioneered the documentation of bird species in Jackson Hole and developed the area’s first bird checklist.

2001 | Jane Goodall

Primate researcher. Studies animals in their natural Tanzanian habitat with a focus on chimpanzees and other apes. An advocate of international peace and habitat conservation.

2000 | Robert Bateman

Painter, Naturalist, and Conservationist. Spokesman for many environmental issues using his artwork to feature animals that face ominous challenges as humankind continues to abuse the natural world.

1996 | Kent Ullberg

Sculptor. Studied in Sweden, Europe, and Africa. Former Curator of the Botswana National Museum and Art Gallery and also Former Curator of the African Hall at the Denver Museum of Natural History.

1994 | Roger Tory Peterson

Artist and Naturalist. Has played a pivotal role in the popularization of the genre of wildlife art and raised public consciousness of the natural world through his art.

1993 | Wallace Stegner

Writer. Awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Angle of Repose and the National Book Award forThe Spectator Bird. Stegner lobbied for passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

1992 | Bob Kuhn

Wildlife artist known for his ability to paint the particular movements and personalities of wild animals.

1990 | Robert L. Lewin

Publisher, Mill Pond Press. Publishes wildlife art as is a leader in the production of limited edition wildlife art prints, building an awareness of wildlife art.

1989 | Mardy Murie

Naturalist and Conservationist. She played a key role in the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the greatest land preservation act in U.S. history

1988 | John Clymer

Illustrator and painter of wildlife and the history of the American West.

Bull-Bransom Award

The Bull-Bransom Award is given annually to recognize excellence in the field of children’s book illustration with a focus on nature and wildlife. The art award is named after Charles Livingston Bull and Paul Bransom, who were among the first and finest American artist-illustrators to specialize in wildlife subjects. Both had a tremendous impact on younger artists and both illustrated numerous children’s books. Bull-Bransom Awardees will be limited to illustrators living in the United States for a book published in the previous calendar year depicting nature and/or wildlife. The illustrator need not be the author of the text. The award may be given posthumously.

Winners receive a $5,000 cash award, and a custom award plaque.

Bull Bransom Award Criteria and Submission Instructions

Award Winners

2023 | Julia Kuo for Luminous: Living Things That Light Up the Night

Julia Kuo was awarded the 2023 Bull-Bransom Award for her illustrations in Luminous: Living Things That Light Up the Night, also authored by Kuo. This book celebrates bioluminescence, light generated by living things – including fireflies and foxfire, fungi and glowworms, deep-sea fish, and vampire squid.


2022 | Julie Flett for We All Play

Julie Flett was awarded the 2022 Bull-Bransom Award for her illustrations in We All Play, also authored by Flett. This book celebrates playtime and the connection between children and the natural world. Flett brings this concept to life through her illustrations of birds who chase and chirp, bears who wiggle and wobble, whales who swim and squirt, owls who peek and peep, and a diverse group of kids who love to do the same, shouting: we play too! / kimêtawânaw mîna.


2021 | Shawn Harris for A Polar Bear in the Snow

The National Museum of Wildlife Art is excited to announce the Bull-Bransom Award recipient for 2021 is Shawn Harris for his cut-paper illustrations in A Polar Bear in the Snow, written by Mac Barnett. In the book, readers follow a magnificent polar bear through a fantastic world of snow and shockingly blue sea. Over the ice, through the water, past Arctic animals and even a human. Readers can connect to the polar bear as a wild animal in its natural environment and ponder – where is the bear going and what does he want?


2020 | Jessica Lanan for The Fisherman and the Whale

Illustrator Jessica Lanan is the recipient of the 2020 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Lanan creates a beautiful wordless story about the serious issue of various sealife’s extermination through commercial fishing. Lanan is an author, illustrator, and painter who aims to create visual stories that inspire a love and understanding of the natural world. She believes in the power of illustration to make even the most complex subjects inspiring, accessible, and memorable for young readers.


2019 | Heidi Smith for Lovely Beasts The Surprising Truth

Children’s book illustrator Heidi Smith is the recipient of the 2019 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Combining tradition and technology, Ms. Smith created the illustrations for Lovely Beasts with charcoal pencil and Adobe Photoshop. The illustrations match charming stories of animals with common misconceptions about them. Spiders, for example, are often thought of as being “creepy,” but also spin delicately intricate webs.


2018 | Matthew Forsythe for The Gold Leaf

Artist and Illustrator Matthew Forsythe is the recipient of the 2018 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Wall Street Journal says, “In Matthew Forsythe’s breathtaking illustrations, we see creatures respond with wonder and cupidity as autumn’s arrival reveals a single, gleaming gold leaf. ‘Each wanted it more than anything in the world,’ we read of a fox, deer, mouse, and others. ‘But who would get it first?’ Though competition tears the leaf to fragments, this is not a fable of greed but of gratitude, with rich, mystical illustrations that will stir the young reader’s heart.”


2017 | Rob Dunlavey for Owl Sees Owl

Children’s book illustrator Rob Dunlavey is the recipient of the 2017 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Owl Sees Owl, is a journey of self-discovery for a young owl, who leaves the comfort of his nest to explore his surroundings. The New York Times Book Review says, “Lovely art marries midnight blues and bright fall leaves, making this a rare nighttime adventure that’s both restful and playful.”


2016 | Carin Berger for Finding Spring

Children’s book author/ illustrator Carin Berger is the recipient of the 2016 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo. “Finding Spring,” Carin Berger’s most recent book, is about the magic of seeking. Telling the story of a little bear cub in search of spring, it is beautifully illustrated with dioramas and cut-paper collages made from scraps of old books, letters, and receipts.


2015 | Rick Allen for Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold

Children’s book author/ illustrator Rick Allen is the recipient of the 2015 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Allen’s stunning linoleum-print illustrations for Winter Bees celebrate nature’s beauty and power, illustrate how animals stay alive in winter, and how they live their secret lives under the snow.


2014 | Peter Brown for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

Children’s book author/ illustrator Peter Brown is the recipient of the 2014 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Brown was selected for the award, given annually for excellence in children’s book illustration with a wildlife and nature focus, for the 2013 picture book Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (Little Brown and Company). A panel of judges selected the book from among five finalists, calling it “an exceptional tribute to the wild and rambunctious energy in all children” and praising the way the book “plays around with the idea of ‘wildlife’ in very visual ways.”


2013 | Eric Rohmann for Oh, No!

Children’s book illustrator Eric Rohmann is the recipient of the 2013 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Rohmann was selected for the award, given annually for excellence in children’s book illustration with a wildlife and nature focus, for the 2012 picture book Oh, No! (Schwartz & Wade Books), written by Candace Fleming. The artist traveled to Jackson Hole to accept the award at a ceremony presented as part of the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Celebration of Young Artists event on May 2.


2012 | Sylvia Long for A Butterfly is Patient

Children’s book illustrator Sylvia Long is the recipient of the 2012 Bull-Bransom Award. Long was selected for the award, given annually for excellence in children’s book illustration with a wildlife and nature focus, for the 2011 picture book A Butterfly Is Patient (Chronicle Books), written by Dianna Hutts Aston. Long was in Jackson Hole at the National Museum of Wildlife Art to receive the award, which was presented as part of the museum’s Celebration of Young Artists event.


2011 | Kevin Waldron for Tiny Little Fly

Children’s book illustrator Kevin Waldron was selected for the award for the 2010 picture book Tiny Little Fly (Walker Books). Written by former UK Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, Tiny Little Fly champions the little guy as the fly encounters and outthinks a tiger, elephant, and hippopotamus, all rendered by Waldron in bold, colorful double-page spreads.


2010 | Jerry Pinkney for The Lion & the Mouse

Well-known children’s book author/illustrator Jerry Pinkney is the recipient of the inaugural Bull-Bransom Award. Pinkney was selected for his 2009 picture book The Lion and the Mouse (Little Brown), a striking wordless retelling of the familiar Aesop’s fable depicted in a lifelike African Serengeti setting. Noting that he’s “a storyteller at heart,” Pinkney set out to find a new way to look at his favorite Aesop’s fable, the well-known tale of the unlikely lion-and-mouse pair learning that no act of kindness is ever wasted.

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