White-tailed Deer. Painting from the Frances Jaques collection at the Welder Wildlife Foundation.

Francis Lee Jaques Art Collection

The Francis Lee Jaques collection consists of three extraordinary three-dimensional dioramas and six murals depicting wildlife and habitats found on the Welder Wildlife Foundation’s Refuge.  These are on display to visitors in the Foundation Headquarter's Museum.  Jaques was commissioned in 1956 by Dr. Clarence Cottam to create these murals.


Francis Lee Jaques (1887-1969) was a celebrated artist who spent much of his career (1924-1942) as a staff artist for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  Throughout his career he illustrated over 70 books and painted more than 80 murals.  Jaques' expeditions to create sketches for murals took him from Alaska to South America.  Additional works by Jaques are still on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the Museum of Science in Boston, the Peabody Museum in New Haven, the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, and the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota.  A traveling exhibit of his works entitled Francis Lee Jaques: Master Artist of the Wild is still available from the Bell Museum and contains 70 paintings, drawings and watercolors; one sculpture, ten photos, and six interpretive panels. 

His illustrations appeared in magazines such as Life, Saturday Evening Post, Outdoor Life, and Field and Stream.  He strove not to record details, but to interpret meaning in nature.  He is quoted as saying, “I think that the painter of wilderness life must be at heart an interpreter.”