Published by Simon & Schuster, 2015

Bateman, Robert McLellan

O.C., O.B.C., R.C.A., D.F.A., D. Litt., D. Sc., LL.D., B.A.(Hons.),




Born in Toronto, Canada, 1930; son of Joseph Wilber & Annie Maria (McLellan)


Marriage to Suzanne Bowerman, June 1961

    Children:  Alan, Sarah & John

Married Birgit Freybe, August 1975  

    Children:  Christopher & Rob 

High School art/geography teacher 20 years

    Thornhill High School, Thornhill, Ontario: 1955-57

    Nelson High School, Burlington, Ontario:  1958-63; 1965-69

    Government College, Umuahia, Nigeria:  1963-65

    Lord Elgin High School, Burlington, Ontario:  1970-76

Lifelong lecturer & resource person in art, photography, nature & conservation

Adjunct Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Faculty of  Social & Applied Sciences, 

Royal Roads University

Resident of Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada



Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, Toronto, 1950

University of Toronto, B.A., Honours Geography, 1954

Ontario College of Education, 1955


Major One-man Exhibitions

Tryon Gallery, London, England:  1975 & 1979

"Images of the Wild", National Museum of Natural Sciences,

    Ottawa, 1981-82 (travelling exhibit of major Canadian museums)

Le Conseil International de la Chasse et de la Conservation de

    Gibier, Monaco, 1982 (travelling exhibition of major European cities)

Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carolina, 1985

Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, 1987

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin, 1986 & 1997

Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C., 1987

Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA 1988

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Museum 1991

Carnegie Museum of Natural History 1991

Canadian Embassy, Tokyo, 1992  (travelling California Academy of Sciences

April '92, Los Angeles Museum of Natural History Nov '92, Vancouver

Museum May '93, Victoria Art Gallery Sept '93)

National Museum of Wildlife Art, May '97- Nov.'97

Art Gallery of Algoma, September '97- November '97

Burlington Art Centre, June-July 2000

"Diversities", Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, SA, Oct. - Nov., 2000

Retrospective Tour: Wm. S. Fairfield Public Gallery, Sturgeon Bay, WI; Genesee 

County Museum, Mumford, NY; The Wildlife Experience, Denver, CO; Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ; Bruce Museum of Arts & Sciences, Greenwich, CT; Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, TX, May 2002 - Nov. 2003

“Robert Bateman: A Portfolio”, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, August 2004

“The Art of Bateman” with Alan Bateman & John Bateman, Masters Gallery,

Calgary, AB, 2006

“The Art of Robert Bateman” Retrospective Tour: McMichael Gallery of Canadian Art, Kleinburg, ON

2007; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE , 2007; Wildlife Experience, Denver, CO, 2008; National

Museum of Wildlife Art’ Jackson Hole, W,Y 2008; San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego, CA, 2008; Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff, AB 2009

“Robert Bateman in Russia”: Russian State Museum, St. Petersburg; Ivanovo

Regional State Museum; Tula Museum of Fine Art; Tsarytsyno Palace Art

Museum, Moscow, Oct. 2009 – Aug. 2010 


The Robert Bateman Centre, Victoria, BC – permanent exhibition, opened May 24, 2013


Public Art Museum Collections

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia

Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, Ontario

Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin

Denver Art Museum

Hamilton Art Gallery, Ontario

Genesee  Country Museum, New York

Glenbow Museum, Alberta

National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson WY 


Plus numerous private collections including:

HRH The Prince Charles

HRH The Prince Philip

HRH The late Princess Grace of Monaco

HRH Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands



World Wildlife Fund, Endangered Species Silver Bowl, 1971

Canada Post, Endangered Species Postage Stamp Series, 1976-1981

Board of Trade of Metropolitan Toronto, "Window Into Ontario", 1977

Government of Canada, wedding gift to HRH The Prince Charles,  

    "Northern Reflections - Loon Family", 1981

Royal Canadian Mint, Platinum Polar Bear Coin Series, 1990

National Capital Commission, Canadiana Fund (Official Residences Permanent 

Collection), "Winter Pond - Mergansers", 2000


Major Academic Honours

D.F.A., D. Litt., D. Sc., LL.D., B.A., SAA, AFC

Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, Colby College, 1989

Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, Northeastern University, 1991

Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, Brock University, 1982

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, Laurentian University, 1987

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, Royal Roads University, 2010

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, University of Guelph, 1984

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, University of Victoria, 2003

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, University of Toronto, 2007

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, Vancouver Island University, 2017

Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, Acadia University, 2014

Doctor of Letters, Fine Arts, honoris causa, Lakehead University,1986

Doctor of Letters, Fine Arts, honoris causa, McMaster University,1983

Doctor of Science, honoris causa, Carleton University, 1982

Doctor of Science, honoris causa, McGill University, 1995



Major Honours and Awards

Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal, 1977

Artist of the Year, American Artist magazine, 1980

Excellence Award in Arts for Contribution to Artistic Community,

    Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario, 1980

Master Artist, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, 

    Wausau, Wisconsin, 1982

Officer of the Order of Canada, 1984

Member of Honour Award, World Wildlife Fund, 1985,

    (presented by HRH The Prince Philip)

Governor General Award for Conservation, Quebec City, Canada,


Lescarbot Award presented by Canadian Government, May 1992

Society of Animal Artists Award of Excellence 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986, 

    1990, 2008; Lifetime Achievement Award, 2010

Rachel Carson Award presented by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and     Chemistry, Washington D.C., 1996

Golden Plate Award presented by the American Academy of Achievement, 1998

U.S. National Audubon Society, one of 20th Century's 100 Champions of 

    Conservation, 1998

Order of British Columbia, 2001

Rungius Medal presented by the National Museum of Wildlife Art, 2001

Queen’s Jubilee Medal, 2002

Perkin’s Partner in Conservation Award presented by The Wild Canid Center, 2003

Roland Michener Conservation Award presented by the Canadian Wildlife    Federation, 2003

Chevron Texaco Conservation Award, 2003

President’s Medal, The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada, 2005

Ideas for Life Award, Canadian Environment Awards, 2006

Amnesty International, Human Rights Defender Award, 2007

Simon Combes Award, Artists for Conservation Foundation, 2008

Niagara Escarpment Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009

Living Planet Legacy Award, WWF-Canada, 2011

The Black-Parker Award for Art Industry Leadership, Susan Kathleen Black Foundation, 2013

Royal Canadian Geographical Society Gold Medal, 2013

World Ecology Award, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2015

International Brandwein Medal, Brandwein Institute, 2017

Jay N. Ding Darling Award, The Wildlife Society, 2017



Robert Bateman Public School, Ottawa, Ontario

Robert Bateman Secondary School, Abbotsford, British Columbia

Robert Bateman High School, Burlington, Ontario



The Art of Robert Bateman, biography by Ramsay Derry, 

    Madison Press Books, 1981 (French ed. 1982; German ed. 1984)

Ten Top Wildlife Artists, by Patricia Van Gelder, 1982

Wildlife Artists at Work by Patricia Van Gelder, Watson-Guptil, 1982

Wildlife Painting - Techniques of Modern Masters, Susan Rayfield,

    Watson-Guptil, 1985

The World of Robert Bateman, biography by Ramsay Derry,

    Madison Press Books, 1984

Twentieth Century Wildlife Artists by Nicholas Hammond, 1986

From the Wild by Christopher Hume, 1986

Painting Birds by Susan Rayfield, Watson-Guptil, 1988

Robert Bateman by Marjorie E. White, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1989

Robert Bateman: An Artist in Nature, biography by Rick Archbold,

    Madison Press Books, 1990

African Wildlife Art by David Tomlinson, Clive Holloway Books, 1991

Robert Bateman: Natural Worlds, text by Rick Archbold,

    Madison Press Books, 1996

Safari, by Robert Bateman and Rick Archbold, Madison Press Books, 1998

Thinking Like a Mountain, by Robert Bateman & Rick Archbold, Penguin

Books, 2000

Design & Composition Secrets of Professional Artists, by the editors of

International Artist magazine, North Light Books, 2001

Wildlife Art: 60 Contemporary Masters & Their Work, by Joan Muvskens    Pursley, Portfolio Press, c2001

The Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes  by Peter Matthiessen, Paintings

and Drawings by Robert Bateman, Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 2001

Birds, by Robert Bateman & Kathryn Dean, Madison, 2002

Tree, by David Suzuki & Wayne Grady; Art by Robert Bateman, Greystone

Books, 2004

Backyard Birds by Robert Bateman with Ian Coutts, Madison, 2005

Birds of Prey by Robert Bateman with Nancy Kovacs, Madison, 2007

Polar Worlds by Robert Bateman with Nancy Kovacs, Madison, 2008

Vanishing Habitats by Robert Bateman with Nancy Kovacs, Madison, 2010

Bateman: New Works, Greystone Books, 2010

Hope & Wild Apples by Robert Bateman, Bateman Foundation, 2012

Sight Unseen, by Paul Gilbert, Bateman Foundation, 2014

Life Sketches: a Memoir, by Robert Bateman, Simon & Schuster, 2015

Robert Bateman’s Canada, by Robert Bateman, Simon & Schuster, 2017



"Robert Bateman", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1972

"Images of the Wild: A Portrait of Robert Bateman", National Film Board of

     Canada, 1978

"The Nature Art of Robert Bateman", Eco-Art Productions, 1981

"Robert Bateman - A Celebration of Nature", Canadian Broadcasting 

     Corporation, 1983

"Robert Bateman - Artist/Naturalist", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 1984

"A Day in the Life of Robert Bateman", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,1985

 "Robert Bateman" Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1994

"Life and Times of Robert Bateman", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1997

"The Art of Robert Bateman", Cable Public Affairs Channel, 1999

"Down to Earth", Zephyr Films, 2001

“Recreating Eden”, TV series, Episode 30     [2005 or 2006]


Memberships and Affiliations

Advisory Board, Pollution Probe

Advisory Committee Member, Gaylord A. Nelson Environmental Endowments

Advisory Council, Ecotrust

Board Member, British Society for Wildlife Artists

Board Member, Jane Goodall Institute, Canada

Consulting Member, Conservation Council of Ontario

Council of Patrons, Earthroots

Director, BC Parks

Director, Charles Darwin Foundation of Canada

Founding Patron, Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Trust

Honorary Board Member Canadian Environmental Defense Fund 

Honorary Board Member Friends of Point Pelee Endowment Fund

Honorary Chairman, The Bateman Foundation

Honorary Chairman, Harmony Foundation, Victoria

Honorary Chairman, Return of the Peregrine Falcon Project

Honorary Director, Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

Honorary Director, Kenya Wildlife Fund

Honorary Director, Long Point Bird Observatory, Ontario

Honorary Director, Niska Wildlife Foundation, Guelph

Honorary Director, North American Native Plant Society

Honorary Director, Ecojustice Canada [was Sierra Legal Defense Fund]

Honorary Fellow, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Honorary Life Member, Audubon Society

Honorary Life Member, Burlington Cultural Centre, Ontario

Honorary Life Member, Canadian Wildlife Federation

Honorary Life Member, Federation of Ontario Naturalists    

Honorary Life Member, Nova Scotia Nature Trust    

Honorary Life Member, Salt Spring Island Conservancy            

Honorary Life Member, Sierra Club

Honorary Member, Federation of Canadian Artists since April 1983

Honorary Patron, The Land Conservancy of British Columbia

Honorary Patron, Allan Brooks Gallery of the Greater Vernon Museum & Archives 

Honorary Patron, Bruce Trail Conservancy

Life Member, Federation of British Columbia Naturalists

Life Member, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts 

Member, CODE Advisory Council

Member, Explorer’s Club

Past Commissioner, Niagara Escarpment Commission, Georgetown, ON 1973-85

Past Director, Art Gallery of Ontario

Past Director, Federation of Ontario Naturalists

Past Director, Hamilton Naturalist Association, Ontario

Patron, Brant Wildlife Festival

Patron, British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas

Patron, Riverwood Conservancy, Ontario

Patron, Vancouver Avian Research Centre

Patron, Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia

                                            rev. 05/18




Born in Toronto, with a degree in geography from the University of Toronto, Robert Bateman taught high school for 20 years, including two years in Nigeria. He travelled around the world in 1957-58, increasing his appreciation of cultural and natural heritage. Since leaving teaching in 1976 to paint full-time, he has travelled widely with his artist/conservationist wife Birgit to many remote natural areas. The family moved to Salt Spring Island in 1985.


Bateman has been a keen artist and naturalist from his early days. He has always painted wildlife and nature, beginning with a representational style, moving through impressionism and cubism to abstract expressionism. In his early thirties he moved back to realism as a more suitable way to express the particularity of the planet. It is this style that has made him one of the foremost artists depicting the world of nature.  


In the '70s and early '80s, Bateman's work began to receive critical acclaim and to attract an enormous following. His work is in many public and private collections, and several art museums, including the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY. Bateman has had many one-man museum shows throughout North America, including an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The retrospective show, The Art of Robert Bateman, toured Canada and the USA for two years, and a one-man show toured four cities in Russia. 


Bateman's art reflects his commitment to ecology and preservation. Since the early 1960's, he has been an active member of naturalist and conservation organizations, now on a global scale. He has become a spokesman for many environmental and preservation issues and has used his artwork and limited edition prints in fund-raising efforts that have provided millions of dollars for these worthy causes. 


Books about his life and art have had sales of over 1,000,000 copies. His latest book, Robert Bateman’s Canada, was released in October 2017. He has also been the subject of several films and television programs. His honours, awards and honorary doctorates are numerous and include Officer of the Order of Canada. It is in honour of Bateman's contribution to art, teaching and conservation that one public and two secondary schools have been named after him; as well, he has been awarded 14 honorary doctorates.  


Many of his early works are on display at The Robert Bateman Centre on the Inner Harbour of Victoria, BC. It is a place where insights into his life and philosophies can be explored. He is associated in the public mind with pro-nature education by his work, writings and public speaking. He is a natural and gregarious teacher and his artwork is vastly instructive. 



Robert Bateman is perceived by many to be one of the voices of reason and hope for healthy, rejuvenated and creative engagement with the natural world.