February 3, 1917, Hutchinson, Minnesota
Died: September 13, 1998, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Internationally known as one of the world's foremost painters of wildlife, Les C Kouba is recognized as the founder of the wildlife art revival in the 1970s. - National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States
Kouba's deep understanding of wildlife stems from growing up on a Minnesota farm which afforded him ample opportunity to observe and study wildlife in their natural habitat. Kouba left home at 16 to start his painting career. He soon developed his own unusual technique that immediately identifies his work. His exciting oils and dynamic water colors are known worldwide as some of the most authentic portraits of wildlife in existence. The distinguishing characteristics of the artwork of Les Kouba (the Kouba 'mystique') include the search for hidden subtleties in his paintings, the 'Kouba Dozen,' 13 of a subject matter, and of course, Kouba's instantly recognizable Asian-looking signature.
Throughout his life, Les Kouba and his artwork benefited many wildlife and conservation efforts, raising millions of dollars for Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, big game associations, The Freshwater Society, Departments of Natural Resources and a host of other organizations.