Originally from Marinette, WI, Larry Barth (b. 1957) developed a keen interest in wildfowl art from a young age—when his mother was an avid bird watcher and his father was a woodworker. Barth later attended Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied graphic design and illustration. During the fall of his freshman year, his family attended the 1976 Ward World Championship. Following this, Barth tailored his major at Carnegie Mellon to support his intention to carve birds, and he was able to take classes on avian anatomy and the arts that would further his intellectual and creative skills. Because of his remarkable regard for the essence of species, Larry has been regarded as “the master of simplicity”—removing anything unnecessary and carefully leaving the feeling or essence of a natural scene in his work. His award-winning pieces have been shown at museums and in private collections around the world, and through publications such as Larry Barth: Birds, Art, and Design. In 1985 Barth won his first Best in World title at the Ward World Championship; as of 2019 he has taken this award 17 times—more than any other artist in the history of the competition.
Photo by Edwin Remsberg