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Robert K. Abbett Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2002-088

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of two manuscript boxes of archival materials. The series of Acorns from Oakdale newsletters written by Abbett gives some insight into his interests and artistic career. In addition to this, a number of articles written by Abbett were published in The Pointing Dog Journal, The Retriever Journal, and Wildlife Art News, among other magazines, which provide instruction into the wildlife art style and technique. The collection also contains copies of print catalogs, tearsheets from magazines, calendars, and advertisements, and greeting cards. The materials accessioned in July of 2006 are related to the process of creating the portrait of James Stewart, which hangs in the Museum. The materials include color and black-and-white photographs, 35mm color slides, and copies of a color photocopied letter from Stewart to Abbett. In 2007, Abbett loaned the Museum his covers for various books and movie posters to be scanned and preserved digitally on CD. The originals were returned to Abbett and the scanned images are saved onto CDs and a hard drive.


  • Creation: 1975 - 2006


Conditions Governing Access

The Robert K. Abbett Collection has no restrictions and is available for research. If you are interested in researching the materials, please contact the Dickinson Research Center to make an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Robert K. Abbett Collection is the property of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Materials, even if owned by the NCWHM, may be protected under third party copyright. It is the patron’s responsibility to research and secure any such additional copyright and pay any required fees or royalties. It is not the intention of the NCWHM to impede upon any third party rights, and the NCWHM cannot be held responsible if the patron is involved in legal action due to violation of third party copyright claims.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Kennedy Abbett, noted as one of America’s contemporary masters of sporting and wildlife art, was born in Hammond, Indiana in 1926 and is a graduate of Purdue University and the University of Missouri.

After attending night and weekend classes at both the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and the American Academy of Art, Bob pursued a career in editorial and advertising art in Chicago, moving to Connecticut in 1953 to be closer to the editorial markets. There he illustrated for The Woman’s Home Companion, Argosy, Sports Afield, Reader’s Digest and True magazines; worked with several of the west coast motion picture studios and did covers for all of the major paperback publishers. He has exhibited in numerous group shows, including the Prix de West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the Artists of America in Denver. Several books have been written on his work; The Outdoor Paintings of Robert K. Abbett, published by Peacock Press/Bantam Books; Abbett, by Michael McIntosh in 1989 and Wings from Cover by Ed Gray in 1996. He is the author of his latest book, A Season for Painting, published by Collectors Covey in Dallas. Feature articles about him have appeared in Country Gentleman, Sports Afield, Southwest Art, Wildlife Art and Prints Magazine.

Often wearing his writing hat, Bob Abbett has written his column, “From Behind the Easel” for Wildlife Art magazine since 1986 and created the Favorite Covers feature for The Pointing Dog Journal and The Retriever Journal where he is a frequent contributor. He also spends time in Scottsdale, Arizona where at the turn of the century his grandfather taught school on the Diamond S Ranch near Camp Verde. For several years Bob taught a workshop at the Scottsdale Artists School.

Source: Biography


0.83 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 1 CDR)

Language of Materials



This collection of archival materials document the style and work of Robert K. Abbett, contemporary sporting and wildlife artist. His oil portrait of actor James Stewart hangs in the Western Performers Gallery.

Processing Information

The Robert K. Abbett Collection was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in March and July 2006 by Robert K. Abbett.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the NCWHM Special Collections at Dickinson Research Center Repository

1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 73111 United States