CLAREMONT G. PRITCHARD
As a highly inquisitive and observant
boy who spent most of his time outdoors, Claremont "Bud"
Pritchard could hardly avoid becoming a true naturalist. The
only child of a family that lived on a farm, he was born on
June 18, 1910 in Kenesaw, Nebraska. He went to country schools
and graduated from Juniata High School, but he learned as
much going to and from school as he did in the classroom.
His favorite haunts were two large lagoons within a half mile
of his house, where he could watch shore and marsh birds,
muskrats, and waterfowl.
One winter day when he was only
seven or eight years old, he was out "helping" his
father shuck corn. During the afternoon a snow storm came
up, and with it thousands of mallards came into the field
to feed. This was so fascinating to the child that he promptly
forgot about work and climbed aboard the wagon to watch the
ducks. They, in turn, were so absorbed in feeding that they
let the horses and wagon come to within a few feet of them.
It was something he never forgot.
Mr. Pritchard's bent toward observing
nature is only one of three major interests. He has been a
hunter equally long, although he often gets side-tracked into
watching other wildlife and forgetting what he was supposed
to be shooting; and his third diversion, now profession, has
always been artwork. He has liked to draw ever since he can
His preschool drawings were of
railroads, but he soon switched to birds and rural scenes,
and by the time he was in high school his drawings and watercolors
were winning prizes at the County Fairs. Money was scarce
in the drought-ridden 1930's, but he invested his meager earnings
in art courses from correspondence schools. He received certificates
from the Washington (D.C.) School of Art and, later, from
the Federal School of Art (now Art Instruction Schools) of
Minneapolis, painting and drawing nights and weekends while
working for his uncle in the family grocery store.
In 1942 he enlisted in the Air
Force, served in India, the Middle East, North Africa, Italy,
and the Pacific, and got his discharge in December 1945 as
a Staff Sergeant. He gained increasing recognition with his
artwork, and in 1948 the Director of the Nebraska Game and
Parks Commission hired him as Staff Artist. His chief responsibility
was illustrating the Commission's publication, Outdoor Nebraska,
but he also did technical publications, brochures, maps, exhibits,
and, beginning in 1955, the State Upland Game Bird Stamp.
He is completing his 20th year with the Commission.
Meanwhile, he has designed the
jacket for Bert Popowski's The Pronghorn Antelope, illustrated
Paul Johnsgard's Animal Behavior, and contributed numerous
illustrations to Hall and Kelson's Mammals of North America.
He has had one-man shows at the Kearney Nebraska State College
and at the Hastings (Nebraska) Museum. His work has also been
exhibited at the Rochester (New York) Museum, Davenport (Iowa)
Museum, and Joselyn Memorial Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska. He
won second place in the duck stamp contests of 1952 and 1956,
and has received a Conservationist Award from the Nebraska
Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America. He was a charter
member and early president of the Audubon Naturalists' Club
in Lincoln, Nebraska, and had long been a member of the Nebraska