Ernest Thompson Seton 1860-1946

Born South Shields, England


Ernest Thompson Seton saw nature as an essentially positive element that deserved protection. The author of more than forty books, a prolific illustrator, and a popular lecturer, Seton conveyed the wonder and beauty of the natural environment to audiences who increasingly lived apart from wilderness. Trained as a naturalist in Canada, Seton was especially known for his study and portrayal of wildlife and for his embrace of Native American traditions. Although some in the scientific community complained at times that the animals in his stories behaved too much like humans, he was later praised for his groundbreaking field research. Living in New York at the turn of the century, Seton became a strong advocate of Roosevelt’s belief in the “strenuous life” as an antidote to the ills of civilization, and in 1910, he played a leading role in the founding of the Boy Scouts of America.

Platinum print, 1899
Print Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs, New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundation