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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 most

recent new book, From the SEASHORE to the

SEAFLOOR , was published in June  2022. 

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

Macnamara's amazing career has been
written up in 
Watercolor Artist Magazine, Passions
Illustrated, Costco Magazine,  Chicago 
Tribune and
so many more. 
She has conducted artist workshops
all over the country 
throughout her career. Wonderful

Solo Art Shows have shown her new exciting work

such as The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum,

Chicago Botanic Garden ,Corkscrew Swamp

Sanctuary Audubon & Ding Darling National Wildlife

Refuge  in Florida ,Glass Curtain Gallery and most

recently at the Miller Art Museum in Wisconsin.

Macnamara's Youtube and Vimeo channels lend

insight to her unique artistic process and technique.

A large collection of Macnamara's Original Watercolor
Paintings are on permanent display at the Field


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.


Artist Mission


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. 



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,  

Egrets on Lake
SOLO Exhibitins

2024 Ferguson Art Gallery Concordia University "Lichens, Tiny Science and                other Paintings from the Field Museum March 18-May 4, 2024

2023   Glass Curtain Gallery Columbia College Chicago -SOLO Exhibition

           "The Taxonomy of Peggy Macnamara " 65 paintings   March 9-April 28, 2023

2022   Miller Art Museum SOLO Art Show Door City, Wisconsin

           "Marine Life from Shore to Floor"-35 large scale paintings Jan April 2022

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 National Wildlife Refuge , 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



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

Buffalo Peggy Macnamara.jpg



2023 Painting the Deep , Artist Network Magazine JULY/AUGUST 2023

2023  Evolution of a Wildlife Artist ,American Watercolor Spring/Summer 2023


2022 Passions Illustrated "Water-Colored Nature" 2022


2021 Watercolor Artist Magazine "Creatures Great and Small"  February 2021 

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


Women in Art:
Peggy Macnamara at The Field Museum


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