C.F. Tunnicliffe

May 04, 2008

I couldn't go into the Field Museum last week, and have the sinking feeling I won't be making it in this week. I've a big illustration deadline coming up, and it's going to be a long week. I have plenty to post about, though, from my last volunteer shift of two weeks ago.

Assistant Bird Collections Manager, and master taxidermist, Tom Gnoske, showed up in the late afternoon. After helping me out with a hybrid Northern Flicker I was working on (and will be posting about later) he showed Andria and I a copy of a book by British wildlife artist C.F. Tunnicliffe. I was shamefully ignorant of Tunnicliffe's work. The book he brought in was all watercolor and gouache studies of British birds, and the renderings were masterful and astounding. After doing a little internet research I found the Tunnicliffe Society. Tunnicliffe died in 1979, and in addition to paintings, was also a printmaker; a man after my own heart. His etchings and wood engravings are tremendously skilled. I've posted a wood engraving of a Barn Owl up above. Even his lichens are amazing! Ah, something to strive for.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing treasure!
    One of the things I've missed the most now that I've been without Internet is visiting your mighty aviary :) You have been busy making your magic thank goodness!!! I enjoy your work so, so much! You're the bees knees...

  2. Diana:

    Thanks for posting about C. F. Tunnicliffe. I am very interested in nature artists, especially those who include birds, and was pleased to learn about an artist I am not familiar with.


  3. Great to see Charles.F.Tunnicliffe being appreciated beyond the UK - he was undoubtedly the greatest bird artist of the 20th Century over here.

    A wonderful professor called Chris Mullen has put together a massive encyclopaedia of ILLUSTRATORS on the web; it is quite astonishing. Check out Tunnicliffe under 'T' at:


    Graham in Scotland


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