Robert K. Abbett

(1926 - present)


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One of America's contemporary masters of sporting and wildlife art.

Robert K. Abbett, noted as one of America’s contemporary masters of sporting and wildlife art, was born in Hammond, Indiana in 1926 and is a graduate of Purdue University and the University of Missouri.

After attending night and weekend classes at both the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and the American Academy of Art, Abbett pursued a career in editorial and advertising art in Chicago, moving to Connecticut in 1953 to be closer to the editorial markets.

There he illustrated for The Woman’s Home Companion, Argosy, Sports Afield, Reader’s Digest and True magazines; worked with several of the west coast motion picture studios and did covers for all of the major paperback publishers. In 1970, the commission to paint the English Setter, “Luke”, his first animal portrait, led him from illustration to becoming a full-time gallery artist. Abbett, with his wife Marilyn, now lives and works at Oakdale Farm, his Connecticut estate.

There he can roam the fields and woods, observing wildlife in its true environment – to look at his art and to participate in what Bob Abbett calls “Being there”, insuring a solid connection with his viewers. His work continues to grow and expand in subject matter, encompassing his unsurpassed paintings of sporting dogs, fly fishing scenes, the world of horses, western scenes and portraiture.

Robert Abbett is a past president of Westport Artists, formerly active with the Society of Illustrators, and is a member of the Society of Animal Artists. He was the recipient of the Salmagundi Club Gold Metal in 1973, and his paintings and/or prints have been shown as far away as Tokyo. Early in his career he showed at the Brandywine River Museum at Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania where his work hung alongside that of Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth.

He has exhibited in numerous group shows, including the Prix de West at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the Artists of America in Denver.