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Howard Munns

Howard L. Munns was a professional artist all his life. Although employed as a landscaping artist, in his spare time he returned always to the natural world and the wildlife he loved, and his realistic representations earned him many fans.

Born July 6, 1911 in a sod house on a homestead in Montana, Howard grew up in Wisconsin during the hard times before and during the Depression. He married his wife, Virginia, in April of 1941 and entered the army shortly after Pearl Harbor. His artistic talent came into play when he was sent to cartography school, and he was posted in New Guinea, creating maps from aerial photographs of strategic areas. A skin infection (he called it "jungle rot") earned him a ticket home with a recuperative period in the hospital in San Francisco where he taught arts and crafts to other inpatients.

After the war, he and Virginia relocated to Southern California and he made a life there as a commercial artist. Never flamboyant or boastful, he continued his own stunningly realistic artwork in his own quiet way, receiving more satisfaction than notoriety. Although he returned again and again to his favorite subjects (landscapes, bison, bighorn sheep, trees), he also continued to learn new techniques and refine his style, and was actually doing his best work while in his 80's. While acrylics were his medium of choice, he also did watercolors, oils, and carved from wood.

During the last years of his life he decided to try his hand at writing, and penned his autobiography in four volumes over 20 years. His work is a testament to growing up poor in Midwestern America and succeeding on all levels as an extremely creative and talented artist. He was also a patient father, a gentle instructor and a kind and loving man.