Robert Abbett (1926 – 2015)
Known as a Master realist of sporting, wildlife, and Western scenes, Robert Abbett was born in the heart of the midwest in Hammond, Indiana in 1926. He became fascinated with wildlife subject matter at a young age and would travel with his parents to see the great art collections in that part of the country and in particular the Chicago Art Institute. He originally entered Purdue University with the intent of becoming a doctor and earned a Bachelors in general science. He spent a few years in the U.S. Navy during World War II and earned a second bachelors degree after the war; this time one in fine arts at the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Abbett went on to attend the Chicago Academy of Art, which later became the American Academy of Art, where he recieved advanced instruction from some of the top illustrators of his day. This led to a long and successful career in illustration. Like many of his contemporaries, he did illustrations for numerous publications and movie posters among many others. By 1970, Abbett had decided to transition to a career in fine art doing mainly sporting and wildlife scenes. Abbett has remarked that the most important aspect of painitng is believability and that this comes from one’s own authtentic experiences but also should arouse feelings and experiences that the viewer can relate to immediately. Robert Abbett’s work is in the permanent collections of such respected museums as the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the R.W. Norton Gallery, and the American Kennel Club Museum.