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 Sean Murtha  (1968 - )

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Lived/Active: Connecticut      Known for: museum diorama bird painting

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Biography from American Museum of Natural History:
Sean Murtha graduated from Pratt Institute in New York with a BFA in painting in 1990, and joined the exhibition staff of the American Museum of Natural History in 1996.  That year Murtha participated in the Museum's expedition to the Central African Republic to collect materials for the Dzanga-Sangha rain forest diorama in the Hall of Biodiversity.

Murtha contributed several background paintings during the renovation of the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life in 2003.

Biography from Windham Fine Arts:
Artist Statement:

"I paint the landscape where I live and the birds that can be found in it. As for the landscape, it is a selective view; I have since childhood detested the bland trappings of modern life, and cherished and admired those corners where nature has taken a stand. These places are difficult to find on the congested Connecticut shoreline where I live, but well worth the effort.  As a painter, I find they provide the rhythms, lines and colors that inspire; as a birder I have also found them to be the best places to find birds.

I know of nothing so perfectly adapted to their environment as a bird. Their demanding lifestyle leaves little room for waste. And yet within those limits they exhibit a surprising array of form and seemingly endless varieties of color and pattern, sometimes bold but always tasteful.  There is no end to the challenges they offer to the artist—between their speed and the subtle play of light on plumage, a painting of a bird is at best a work in progress.
 
A bird taken out of its environment is a lovely thing but can only tell a part of its story. Good birders identify birds not just by their shape and pattern but also by the places they are found, the season, and the habits they exhibit. Part of the joy of birding for me is where the quest takes me; the places where the birds are found are the places I like to be. In my paintings I attempt to share that common bond between myself, the birds, and the landscape."

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