Field Museum's only artist-in-residence puts wildlife to watercolor

October 31, 2011

By Elysabeth Alfano

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(Photo courtesy of peggymacnamara.com)
Peggy Macnamara is the only artist-in-residence at The Field Museum in Chicago.

When people head to The Field Museum in Chicago, they probably think more about skeletons and dinosaurs than fine art. But after a closer look at the walls, one will notice nature and wildlife beautifully rendered on canvas. The paintings are the work of Peggy Macnamara, the only artist-in-residence at the Field Museum. Her journey to that position began in the late 1980s. She spent hours at the exhibitions, simply sketching what she saw. Then, after about a decade of making the museum her studio, the head of the conservation department asked her to stay. WBEZ's Elysabeth Alfano talked with Macnamara about her process and how science and art intersect.