Monday, December 3, 2018

Meet the Tour Director for the Society of Animal Artists

David J. Wagner, Ph.D.

The Society of Animal Artists is pleased to present this post highlighting our Tour Director, David J. Wagner.  Dr. Wagner began working as the SAA Tour Director in 1988 and has taken the SAA all over the United States to a list of museum venues that would make any organization proud.  He has achieved a remarkable career thus far and holds a particular fondness for the SAA and its artists.

Dr. Wagner at the Allentown Art Museum for the Premiere of his exhibition, American Wildlife Art
Presented to David J. Wagner in 2002 at the 42nd Annual Exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists at the Grand Opening of the Wildlife Experience in Denver, CO

In 1975, David's career was re-directed from the world of concerts to museums. After earning a bachelors degree in applied piano with a minor in voice, and being accepted into the Indiana University Music School as a Graduate Student, he took an elective course in Museum Studies as part of the curriculum for a Masters degree in Arts Administration from the Graduate School of Business, which he intended at the time, to lead to a career in concert management.

David J. Wagner, book signing at release of American Wildlife Art, Charleston , SC, February 2008

David was a museum director for 20 years and his career has been multifaceted.  In the visual arts, he has focused much of his time and energy on the production of traveling museum exhibitions, which edify the public about wildlife, but also domesticated animals, ecology, and the environment.  In 1998, he formed a limited liability corporation for the principle purpose of producing and managing traveling exhibitions for display at museums and related art, cultural and scientific institutions in North America and abroad.

David J. Wagner with artist, Robert Bateman

In addition to serving as President of that company for the past 20 years, David has spent a portion of that time as author (most notably, American Wildlife Art), lecturer, occasional guest curator, and adjunct faculty at colleges and universities.

Dr. Wagner directed an expedition of artists and naturalists to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico in 2011

David sometimes coordinates guest appearances by artists at venues hosting his company’s exhibitions, in addition to occasionally serving as guest speaker himself.  He also serves as principle copy writer and editor of his exhibitions’ texts.  But mostly, truth be known, he spends most of his time marketing and managing his traveling museum exhibitions.

Robert Bateman, Carel Pieter Brest Van Kempen, Kent Ullbergand Dr. David J. Wagner

February 27, 2003: Interview of Carel Pieter Brest van Kempen and David J. Wagner on The Nature of Things, FM 90 Utah Public Radio, Salt Lake City

February 2008: Interview of David Wagner by Dan Small on Outdoor Wisconsin, Wisconsin Public Television

August 28, 2008: Partial Interview Without Listener Phone Calls of David Wagner by Larry Meiller on Wisconsin Public Radio

August 28, 2008: Complete Interview including Listener Phone Calls of David Wagner by Larry Meiller on Wisconsin Public Radio

November 12, 2008: Interview of Kent Ullberg and David Wagner by Larry Meiller on Wisconsin Public Radio

November 17, 2008: Interview of Robert Bateman and David Wagner on KPBS, San Diego

September 14, 2010: Interview of Robert Bateman, Kent Ullberg, and David Wagner on KHOL 89.01 Jackson Hole Community Radio

THE SEA OF CORTEZ, Field Trip Documentary Produced by Molly Moore Fine Art for David J. Wagner, L.L.C. for the 2013 museum exhibition, THE SEA OF CORTEZ (Richard C. Brusca, Ph.D., Field Trip Leader, to San Carlos, Mexico from March 19-26, 2011)

February 1, 2016: Environmental Ideology in Art by David Wagner on TEDxMHK, Kansas State University, Manhattan

July 12, 2018: Interview of David J. Wagner by Bonnie North on Lake Effect at WUWM 89.7 Milwaukee's NPR Station

Among exhibitions produced or toured by David J. Wagner, L.L.C. are the following: America's Parks, American Birds, American Still Lifes, American Studio Glass, American Wildlife Art, Andrew Denman: The Modern Wild, Animals in Art, Art and the Animal (from the Society of Animal Artists), Art of the Dive / Portraits of the Deep, Art of the Rainforest, Biodiversity in the Art of Carel Pieter Brest van Kempen, Blossom ~ Art of Flowers, Brian Jarvi's African Menagerie, Cory TrĂ©panier's Into The Arctic, Crocodilian Scratchboards by John Agnew, Endangered Species, Flora and Fauna in Peril, Environmental Impact, Exquisite Miniatures by Wes and Rachelle Siegrist, Feline Fine: Art of Cats, John James Audubon, Kent Ullberg: A Retrospective, LeRoy Neiman, On Safari, LeRoy Neiman: A Retrospective, Masters of American Photography, Masterworks from The International Guild of Realism, Paws and Reflect: Art of Canines, Robert Bateman - A Retrospective, Sandy Scott: A Retrospective, Sayaka Ganz: Reclaimed Creations, Society of Animal Artists National Geographic Society Outdoor Sculpture Garden, The Horse In Fine Art (annual exhibition of the American Academy of Equine Art), The Sea of Cortez, The Art of Robert Bateman, Thomas D. Mangelsen: A Life in the Wild.  These exhibitions and others have toured and continue to tour to venues nationwide and in Canada under the auspices of David J. Wagner, L.L.C.

... and recent news as this blog goes to post: David is being honored in 2019 by The Dancing Star Foundation in Los Angeles, CA for his work!  In 2010, he was the recipient of the SKBF Black-Parkman Award for Art Industry Leadership.

For more information about Dr. Wagner visit his website:
For a synopsis of David's complete career, visit: Synopsis
Additional videos are posted here: YouTube

~ Rachelle Siegrist for the SAA