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Memorable Manitobans: Hans Albert Hochbaum (1911-1988)

Scientist, author, artist.

Born at Greeley, Colorado on 9 February 1911, he was educated at Boise, Idaho and Washington, DC. He studied fine arts at Cornell University and received a BSc in Zoology. For three years he worked as a wildlife technician with the US National Parks Service. In 1938 he became the first Scientific Director of the Delta Waterfowl Research Station on Delta Marsh in Manitoba. There he did work that led to an MSc degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in 1941, under the supervision of Aldo Leopold. Over a scientific career spanning three decades, he specialized in waterfowl behaviour, ecology and conservation.

Hochbaum was equally well known for his prowess as an artist. He first exhibited paintings in 1933. Specializing in nature and wildlife art, his work hangs in many private and public collections, including the Smithsonian in Washington and the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Ottawa. One of his paintings was presented to Queen Elizabeth II during her 1970 visit to Manitoba. In the course of his career, he wrote several books, including The Canvasback on a Prairie Marsh (1944), Travels and Traditions of Waterfowl (1956), and To Ride The Wind (1973). In 1970 he took early retirement to pursue a career in art and freelance writing. He took special interest in the Canadian north.

In 1939 he married Eleanor Joan Ward (1921-2016), daughter of game warden Edward Ward, sister of Peter Ward. They had four children: Albert Ward Hochbaum, Peter Weller Hochbaum, George Sutton Hochbaum, and Trudi Hochbaum Heal.

He was a member of the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt (1957), and he received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1961), the Manitoba Golden Boy Award (1962), an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba (1962), a Fellowship of the American Ornithological Union, the Manitoba Centennial Medal of Honour (1970), the Crandall Conservation Award (1975), a Canada Council Explorations Fellowship (1975), Membership in the Order of Canada (1978), the Aldo Leopold Wildlife Conservation Award (1980), a Special Conservation Achievement Award of the National Wildlife Federation (1986), the Distinguished Naturalist Award (Seton Medal) from the Manitoba Naturalists Society (1986), and the Professional Wildlife Conservation Award of the Province of Manitoba (1987).

He died at Portage la Prairie on 2 March 1988 and was buried in Prospect Cemetery.


“Naturalist, artist Hochbaum dies at 77 in Portage,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 March 1988, page 23.

“In memorium: Hans Albert Hochbaum,” The Auk, volume 105, pages 769-772, October 1988.

Obituary [Joan Ward Hochbaum], McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 13 January 2016

Memorable Manitobans

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This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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