Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Melvin Johansen (1915- )
Melvin Johansen was born in Oakland, California in 1915. He started as an apprentice taxidermist for the Snow Museum of Natural History in Oakland. His work at the museum developed skills in diorama preparation by constructing foregrounds and painting backgrounds under the guidance of specialists. During World War II, he worked on delicate optical and aircraft instruments at the Alameda Naval Base. His field work during those times also included extensive colleting of data, material, sketching, and photographing of wildlife throughout the Western states of Mexico up to Canada. Photographs by him have appeared on sporting calendars, natural history and outdoor magazines. The motion picture work of Melvin Johansen was used in Disney and other Hollywood nature films. In 1972, he retired early as a Senior Curator of Natural Sciences to devote full time to creating bronzes.
View high resolution images of works by Melvin Johansen when available.