Introduction menu The Nature of Art Thayer's World An Amateur Naturalist

An Amateur Naturalist

Painting:  Peacock in the Woods Thayer was an amateur naturalist and a passionate bird-lover. He believed that his professional training in color, value, and design, combined with observation of nature, gave him the tools to understand how animals disguise themselves from predators. He devoted considerable time and energy to defining, promoting, and defending his ideas on the subject.

Thayer developed a love for the mountain that overlooked his studio. Through his efforts to protect the forests on the slopes of Mount Monadnock he became a staunch conservationist. To support that work, he founded the Thayer Fund which, through the National Audubon Society, paid for wardens to protect bird sanctuaries up and down the east coast.


Pictured: Peacock in the Woods, 1907, collaboration with Richard Meryman, oil, 50.6 x 51.2 cm, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of the heirs of Abbott H. Thayer

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