A sculptor of remarkable accuracy and observation, Melvin Johansen brings to his work the legacy of his study of the natural world.Born in 1915, Melvin Johansen has devoted his life to the celebration of wildlife through organic sculpture. He began his career as a taxidermist with the Snow Museum of Natural History in Oakland, California. In conjunction with his work at the museum, Johansen traveled throughout the Western United States, Mexico and Canada photographing and documenting various species in their natural environments. His work allowed him to study animal anatomy and form with an academic comprehension. Johansen’s figures suggest movement and presence even when the subject is depicted at rest. His appreciation of wildlife, and insight of animal behavior allowed his compositions validity and grace.
The photographs and sketches produced from these trips appeared in several natural history publications and films. In 1972, Johansen retired as Senior Curator of the Natural Sciences Division of the Oakland Museum in order to focus on his artwork. The result was a body of work that represents the animal world with spirit and reverence. Johansen’s unique style allows the work to transcend pure representation, and serve as a testimony to the beauty of nature.
With a varied body of work, Johansen’s bronzes represent classic animal sculpture produced of the finest quality. His works are featured in private and public collections throughout the world. Now in his nineties, Johansen resides with his wife Darleen in Northern California, and approves each of his sculptures created by the Johansen Studio.
Melvin Johansen’s biography “A Lifetime Celebrating the Natural World”, is available at all galleries consigning his work. A complimentary copy is given with each purchase and details Melvin’s life and achievements in the fields of natural preservation and sculpture.Signed and unsigned versions are also available for purchase either in the galleries, or through Jay Johansen Studio for $75.