The Don and Virginia Eckelberry Endowment

About the Endowment

Don Eckelberry (1921- 2001) is heralded as an artist, prolific bird guide illustrator, conservationist, and nurturer of talent.

His consummate skills as an ornithologist, field naturalist, and draftsman provide a standard of excellence for others to emulate. Don’s work embodies an ideal fusion of art and science. Virginia “Ginnie” Eckelberry (1914 - 2009), an accomplished graphic artist with a particular interest in textiles, also merged science and art with a career-long devotion to botany. Together, they devoted their professional lives and personal interests to art and nature.

Inspired by Don and Ginnie’s work, friends and admirers established an endowment in their honor to continue encouragement and support of the very best talent in the field of nature art. The goals of the endowment are:

  • Fuse art and science with opportunities for observation of nature in the field
  • Offer funding for research, travel, and field studies
  • Create new advocates for the preservation of the natural world

If you're a nature artist—whether a painter, printmaker, sculptor, or work in other media—consider applying for the Eckelberry Fellowship. You also can learn about the Eckelberry Endowment and more about Don Eckelberry by clicking these links. The deadline for applications is October 31, 2018.

Application Information

The Eckelberry fellowships are open to painters, sculptors and graphic artists, regardless of age, sex or nationality.

Applications should consist of the following:

  • A letter of intent (no more than two pages) in which the applicant should briefly outline his or her career and explain the reasons for seeking the fellowship. If a specific project is to be involved, it should be described and/or supported through supplementary information. Most important, the letter should explain how the fellowship would advance the applicant's artistic aspirations and goals
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendations from professionals familiar with your work
  • 35mm slides or a CD with untouched digital images of a representative sampling of your work (no more than 20 pieces) and a self-addresed, stamped envelope for their return (if desired)

Please send all materials (together in one package) to:

The Eckelberry Endowment
c/o Ewell Sale Stewart Library
The Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1195

Support for the Endowment


Please consider making a generous donation in honor of Don. Send contributions to:

The Eckelberry Endowment
c/o Ewell Sale Stewart Library
The Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1195

The Academy of Natural Sciences is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Donations to the Endowment are fully tax-deductible.

Advisory Committee

A number of distinguished artists, writers and scientists have agreed to serve on an advisory committee that will guide the Endowment and its activities. These advisors include:

  • Tony Angell, sculptor
  • Kent Ullberg, sculptor
  • Martha Hill, art historian and former photo editor of Audubon Magazine
  • David Lank, art historian
  • Ken Carlson, painter
  • Lars Jonsson, painter
  • George McLean, painter
  • Larry McQueen, painter
  • Tom Quinn, painter
  • Guy Tudor, painter
  • Robert Ridgely, scientist
  • Dan Otte, scientist
  • Todd Wilkinson, writer
  • Robert McCracken Peck, Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences
Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wisconsin
The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia