Macnamara has traveled with Field Museum scientists
all over the world to paint nature and illustrate
conservation efforts. She has published 5 books
in collaboration with museum scientists through the
University of Chicago Press. In addition, Macnamara
has created 2 children's books (one with Northwestern
University Press) and a coloring book. Her new book,
From the Seashore to the Seafloor was published in
Having been associated with the Field Museum
for more than thirty years and a regular visiting
ainter at museums across North America and
Europe for fifteen years, Macnamara has also
produced a series of classical drawings as well as
paintings that bring together museum
architecture, natural scenes, and cultural artifacts.
A large collection of Macnamara's Original Watercolor
Paintings are on permanent display at the Field Museum.
Peggy Macnamara has served as the Artist-in-Residence at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History since 1990 and as an Adjunct Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 2001.
My work is about the study of nature. I hesitate putting myself in such a grand tradition, but there it is. I admire those that have gone before and find myself studying old techniques while pushing in new directions. Unlike science where those that follow build on the knowledge discovered before them, artists seem to emulate and eventually grow into the concerns of their time. I believe that by looking carefully at the entirety of nature I will learn to see better and gather an understanding of form and color that will make me a better artist.
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
MA, Art History, University of Chicago, 1970
BA, Art History, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY. 1969
Artist-in-Residence, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL 1990-present
Associate of the Zoology Department, Field Museum, Chicago, IL 1996-present. Instructor (1990-2000),
Adjunct Associate Professor (2001-present),
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Art Instructor at the Field Museum, Chicago
Public Libraries Nature Connection, Art Institute Family Programs, and Morton Arboretum,
1994-present. Illustrator for selected publications,
1998-present Reviewer, “The New Art Examiner,” Chicago IL,
1982-85 Art Instructor, Barat College, Lake Forest, IL.
1980-82. Member and Director of West Hubbard Gallery, Chicago IL,
SELECTED ONE PERSON EXHIBITIONS
2010 Peggy Macnamara. The White Gallery, Sharon, Connecticut
2009 The Natual Art of Nests, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe Il,
2008 Nests, Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago Il Macnamara: Wildlife Watercolors, Fermi Lab, Batavia, Il Insects and Birds, The Discovery Museum, Lake County Il
2007 Migration, Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago Il Watercolors, Southwestern Michigan College, Dowagiac, Michigan Illinois Birds, Illinois State Museum, Lockport Illinois
2006 Nature studies, Aron Packer Gallery Three Oaks, Michigan
2005 Nests, Aron Packer Gallery Chicago, Il Aron Packer Gallery, Three Oaks, Michigan Ryerson Conservation Center, Riverwoods, Illinois
2002 Aron Packer Gallery, Chicago Il
1999 Insect Exhibit, Field Museum, Chicago, IL
1998 Union League Club, Chicago, IL
1996 The Vedanta Gallery, Chicago, IL
1993 Triangle Gallery, Chicago, IL
1989 Union League Club, Chicago, IL
1987 Roger Ramsay Gallery, Chicago, IL
1984 Roger Ramsay Gallery, Chicago, IL
1983 Sonnenschein Gallery, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL
2022 Miller Art Museum SOLO show Jan-April 2022 "Marine Life from Shore to Floor"
2021 OTR Virtual Art Show "Abstraction Inherent in Reality"
2019 Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts "Nature in Watercolor "
2019 Des Plaines History Center Art Gallery Art Exhibition
2019 Glenview Public Library Art Show "Flora & Fauna"
2018 Fermilab Art Gallery in Batavia Illinois "Seeing the Prairie" Art Show
2017 Brooker Gallery of the Chicago Field Museum, "Peregrine Returns Exhibit" June 23, 2017, through June 2018
2017 Ryerson Woods Brushwood Center, Solo Exhibit, "The Choreography of Birds", March 5-April 17
2016 Evanston Art Center Museum Perspectives Solo Exhibit September 11 to October 31
2016 Ding Darling Solo Exhibit August 1 -October 23
2016 Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Audubon -April-May
2016 Heller Nature Museum - Nature Exhibit January -February
2014 "Migration", Mississippi State University Art Center, Starkville, Miss.
2014 "Birds/Museum Studies" , Heller Nature Center, Highland Park Il
2013 "The Art of Migration", Ryerson, Deerfield IL Macnamara-Della Studio, Los Angeles, California Behind the Scenes, Packer Schopf Gallery
2012 Peggy Macnamara, Elmhurst Museum, Il
2011 Nests by Peggy Macnamara, Peggy Notebart Museum, Chicago Il Ruskin/ Bird formations, Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago Il
REVIEWS & ARTICLES
2021 Watercolor Artist Magazine "Creatures Great and Small" February 2021 issue
2019 Costco Connections "What a Wonderful World"
2019 Gizmodo " The Watercolor Artist Whose Paintings Help Save the Rainforest"
2019 My Modern Met "Museum Artist In Residence Promotes Conservation with Wildlife Watercolors"
2013 Chicago Tribune, “The Art Of Migration”
2011 Chicago Tribune, Macnamara at Aron Packer Gallery
2010 Chicago Magazine, Macnamara at the Botanic Garden
2006 Chicago Sun-Times, Macnamara’s Nest Book, by Gary Wisby
2005 Time Out Chicago, Wild Style by Ruth Lopez
2005 Chicago Reader, Nature Girls by Fred Camper
2004 Chicago Sun-Times, Artist’s biggest challenge.., by Gary Wisby
2004 Pioneer Press, Bugs pose for mug shots, by Sheryl De Vore
2004 Watercolor Magazine, Summer Issue, Painting Wildlife in Watercolor
2002 Chicago Reader, March 2002, Backyard Beauties by Holly Greenhagen
2000 Chicago Sun-Times, April 2000, Artist brings the Field Alive by Nancy Moffet (feature article)
1997 Chicago Sun-Times, January 10, Peggy Macnamara by Margaret Hawkins
1996 Chicago Sun-Times, January 5, Nature Roars-and Purrs-in Winter Shows by Margaret Hawkins