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Robert Glen

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for June, 2009

Beside Ruaha National Park is a small community with few resources and few opportunities. Robert Glen and Sue Stolberger had dreamed of building a center that would benefit the Idodi community since their arrival in Ruaha in 1994. On October 27, 2007, thanks to the many donations of friends, that dream became a reality with the opening of the Idodi Environmental Center. The solar powered Center is comprised of a Library, a large hall for showing films and lectures, a display area focusing on the environment and a reception room for the headmaster and the teachers. The center has already become an indispensible asset to the community and for the school children, the library has become a world of discovery and growth.
 
While we celebrate Robert Glen's role this month the honour belongs to both Robert and Sue, however Sue was our conservation artist of the month some time ago in recognition of her work in raising awareness of the water situation in Ruaha National Park.Robert and Sue not only inspire each other's artwork but they also inspire their respective interests in natural history. Not long after their arrival Sue noticed that the local Red-billed Hornbills looked a bit different from the ones they had encountered elsewhere. A specimen was taken and it was found that the hornbill (Tockus ruahae) was a new species to science. Since this discovery Sue and Rob have discovered a new Chat that is currently being described. During Rob's early years collecting specimens for American and European Museums, he discovered several new species of bats as well. All of these discoveries have greatly advanced the undestanding of African ecology and the conservation of its rich habitats.
 
Robert Glen was born in Kenya in 1940 and his interest in art and natural history formed at an early age. A fascination with birds and all living things led him to the Nairobi Museum of Natural History. It was at the museum where he met the curator of ornithology, John Williams and quickly established a long and enduring friendship that greatly influenced his life's work.At the age of 14, Glen was invited to serve as an expedition assistant to Mr. Williams, collecting research specimens of birds for European museums. Two years later, he was accepted to serve a three-year apprenticeship in the renowned taxidermy studio of Coloman Jonas in Denver, Colorado. It was here that his interest in sculpture and design took hold. Returning home, Robert began a transition from taxidermy to sculpting animals in the European tradition of Animaliers, working in various media before casting his first bronze in 1970.Rob's work has met with great success worldwide and is represented in many private collections, including her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, His Highness the Aga Khan and the late Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta. He has had many solo exhibits all over the world. Glen's public commissions include one of Texas' proudest monuments and one of the largest equestrian sculptures in the world, the Mustangs of Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. In 1990, Glen completed another commision for the city of San Jose, California depicting Thomas Fallon raising of the first American flag over California.Robert's true love of the African bush led him to Tanzania's Ruaha National Park where he continues to sculpt and sketch in close proximity to some of Africa's most engaging wildlife.Today, Rob continues to work out of his simple camp studio, where he has lived for the past ten years with his partner, the accomplished painter Sue Stolberger. Together Sue and Robert inspire each other's work as well as their passion for natural history, ecology and conservation.

 

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(October, 2017)
(September, 2017)
(August, 2017)
(July, 2017)
(June, 2017)
(May, 2017)
(April, 2017)
(March, 2017)
(February, 2017)
(January, 2017)
(December, 2016)
(November, 2016)
(October, 2016)
(September, 2016)
(August, 2016)
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