TWS Conference: Ding Darling, Bob Taylor Exhibits

By Nick Wesdock

J.N. "Ding" Darling
Conservation pioneer J.N. "Ding" Darling.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Darling's grandson Christopher "Kip" Koss

This year’s TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg will pay homage to two big names in wildlife conservation.

The lives and works of conservationist Jay N. “Ding” Darling and wildlife photographer Bob Taylor will showcase the important contributions that each of these men made in their respective fields.

The “Hidden Works of Jay N. ‘Ding’ Darling” will be traveling to Winnipeg this October with co-curator and TWS member Samuel Koltinsky.

Darling’s own ties to TWS trace back to 1938 when he was given an honorary membership for his contributions to wildlife conservation. In 1950, he was awarded TWS’ first Aldo Leopold Memorial Award, a fitting distinction since the two men were close friends.

Although wildlife conservation was a lifelong commitment for Darling, he made a living as a reporter and editorial cartoonist for The Des Moines Register and Sioux City Journal. His cartoons, which he famously signed D’ing, won him two Pulitzer Prize awards and appeared in more than 100 newspapers nation-wide.

Despite relatively little scientific experience, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Darling as director of the U.S. Biological Survey – now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – in 1934. He continued to achieve success as director, establishing and improving many programs that still exist today, including the Federal Duck Stamp Program, Cooperative Research Unit program, and the National Wildlife Refuge System. The late Ding Darling is the namesake for many conservation projects and nature sites across the country.

This exhibit will present personal artifacts, cartoons and the recently uncovered printing plates from The Des Moines Register, along with an unfinished study by Darling that Koltinsky found in 2012 while filming a documentary about the conservationist.

Bob Taylor, a world-renowned photographer, writer and naturalist, is remembered for his pictures of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and great grey owls (Strix nebulosa), which have appeared in magazines such as Life, Reader’s Digest, International Wildlife, Canadian Geographic and more. The late Canadian photographer spent his life traveling the globe in search of his next great shot, landing him in places like the Galapagos Islands, Holland, Tanzania and much of Canada and the western United States. He was a frequent visitor to Kenya and regularly conducted group safaris to the African country. More locally, he hosted photography workshops in Churchill, Manitoba. His award-winning books “The Manitoba Landscape: A Visual Symphony” and “The Edge of the Arctic: Churchill and the Hudson Bay Lowlands” have enjoyed tremendous success as well.

Both exhibits can be found on the second floor of the RBC Convention Centre in the TWS Members Activity Center Monday through Wednesday. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to personally view the works of these two great individuals while learning about their many contributions to wildlife conservation. See you in Winnipeg!

To learn more about this year’s TWS Annual Conference and to register today, click here.

Nick WesdockNick Wesdock is The Wildlife Society’s Membership and Conferences Coordinator. You can follow him on Twitter at @nick_wesdock.

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