Robert Lyn Nelson is widely regarded as the originator of the Modern Marine Art Movement, with his landmark painting “Two Worlds” in 1979. With his artwork that simultaneously depicts life above and below the surface of the sea, he launched a widely adopted genre of contemporary art that has earned him a place among innovative modern artists. Many of Mr. Nelson’s paintings feature the underwater beauty and resources of the United States, particularly those that are protected as national marine sanctuaries. In this regard, he follows in the spirit of illustrator John James Audubon and photographer Ansel Adams as a visual archivist of the country’s natural treasures.
Recognition for his work has come from, among others, members of the U.S. House and Senate, Governors, Cabinet Members, and the Vice-President of the United States, who named him among the nation’s first “Environmental Heroes” in 1997. One of Mr. Nelson’s signature paintings, “From Sea to Shining Sea,” was chosen as the Official Painting for the U.S. Pavilion at the 1998 World Expo in Lisbon, Portugal, and was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History as part of an exhibition in support of the National Marine Sanctuary System.
His work has been shown in more than 300 exhibitions worldwide, and is collected by public and private figures across the world. Many of his works have been donated and used by charities and non-profit organizations for environmental causes on behalf of the ocean.