Darling-Inspired News!

April 26, 2024
Fish Art State Winners Announced!
Wildlife Forever has announced the Fish Art Contest. Click the link above to view all the winners!

December 24, 2023
We’re closing 2023 with our Duck Stamp Contest video that has just been released by Trevor Spidle.  What a year it has been!

December 14, 2023
Rooted in Restoration: Drake Students to Help Revitalize the Heartland’s Grasslands

November 17, 2023
Songbird Art Contest – Two Weeks Remaining

November 15, 2023
Sharing the 2023 Federal Duck Stamp Contest, hosted by the Jay N Darling Institute at Drake University.  A big thank you to DU Nation and Jason Norris for their support and production.

November 8, 2023
Flying High with us in 2023!
See the DU Nation video
Federal Duck Stamp Contest, September 15 and September 16, 2023

September 5, 2023
The 2023 Fish Art Contest is now open! 
Visit www.FishArt.org to read the 2023-2024 rules and guidelines and begin your entry today!

May 26, 2023
Our International Leadership Program 2023 welcomes Gram Durbin, a talented young man who is grateful, humble and musically gifted. Go Gram!

Consciousness of GreatnessWe’ve been thinking about greatness, leadership and creative thinking. Inspired in part by our research for the Our Outdoor Heroes Curriculum, and a few years of special mentoring by a great friend, Sarita Van Vleck, add Maestro Masur, a mix of Motown, along with a few other acquaintances and visionaries… well take a look at Sam’s seminar. 

Our Outdoor Heroes Young People’s International Camps will host two 2024 programs in Europe. Details coming soon!

Arne Naess will be included in Our Outdoor Heroes Young People’s Curriculum Program for 2024.

After listening to Andrea Wulf and feeling her passion, we’ve been inspired to add Alexander von Humboldt to Our Outdoor Heroes program.

Summer Dreams Camp for Adults – Inspired by the international traveler and “the man who never forgot he once was a boy”- Jay Norwood Darling. We are developing a week long camp for adults in the Heart of Franconia, Germany. Remember those fun summer camps that we use to attend? Well, this one has Castles, Fortresses, and beautiful hills with abundant wildlife and June-bugs! Pause, reflect, and find your peaceful, creative consciousness combining leisure by day, and music at night. All of the “Darling” things we miss and so often long for. Details coming!

February 23, 2022
I’ve just completed again reading Ding Goes to Russia – yep,-  Darling visited Russia and Stalin by invitation in 1931. At the same time, in researching I have learned that Diplomat Hans von Herwarth was in Moscow when Darling visited.  Both Darling and von Herwarth have much in common in their leadership skills, knowledge of history, understanding people, as well as the way in which they acknowledged and treated people. They both had a keen understanding of culture and its influence on high and low context language traits.  
For insights into these visionaries, you might want to take a few moments to explore the books and lives of these individuals. Crisis/challenging situations call for diplomacy and compromise always, and we find ourselves in a situation today where we indeed need Jay Norwood Darling and Hans von Herwarth back, or at least their skills in dealing with the world. Once again, I am thankful for Drake University, Mrs. Hunter, my wife Brigitte,  along with many others who are helping us all to experience “the story” and inspire generations to come!
Enjoy the research and share with others!
PS…I have the pleasure of knowing and researching von Herwarth through his daughter and grandson, which is providing for a better insight into Darling’s trip back in 1931. 

As we all know, fulfilling promises, realizing visions, and lighting the inspiring way takes time. With the right team… passionate, inspiring and unwilling to compromise values and standards, all things are possible. Darling is a great example for then, now and the future, being tireless in his pursuit of stewardship and sometimes perfection.  
An urgency of consciousness, very close and dear to all of us is about to unfold. As we reflect on Darling’s birthday, we’re enclosing what may be one of the most important and exciting invitations of your stewardship.  Won’t you please join us for Drake University’s virtual event on Thursday, October 28? There has never been a more important moment!
Click Here To Join Us!

We are honored to partner with Wildlife Forever and would like to share the following links for the upcoming art contests. Please pass on these wonderful opportunities to connect young people to conservation through their art. After all, it is, indeed, one of the best ways to honor Darling and all our Heroes of Conservation and Stewardship!

Here are both links to our ontests for young people:

Celebrating over 30 years of conservation, Wildlife Forever is a visionary leader in conservation education for children and adults.  The Jay N. Darling Legacy Center is pleased to show our support by announcing the winners of the 2021 Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest. Congratulations to the winners and all who participated in the 2021 contest!

Watch for more information to come about our new and exciting endeavor–the motion picture film, America’s Darling!

Congratulations to Drake University, The Jay N. Darling Institute, and Des Moines for being selected to host the 2023 Duck Stamp Competition!

We are celebrating Darling’s birthday in 2020—join us in our vision and partner, Wildlife Forever, as we “sing a different tune.”

“Remembering the life and work of five-time Duck Stamp winner, Maynard Reece.” The Reece Family has generously reserved ten Maynard Reece Master Editions to enable us to raise support for the Darling Institute—Make Maynard’s Gift Your Gift.

Congratulations to Richard Clifton of Milford, Delaware, the winner of the 2020 Federal Duck Stamp Contest!

Recently a treasure from the past was discovered.  The front page of a 1960 school newsletter, The Pine Torch, revealed that J. N. (Ding) Darling, along with Gardner Cowles and Harvey Inghram, were the first to ever give Dr. Jones, the founder, hundred dollar checks to aid The Piney Woods School in Piney Woods, Mississippi, when times were most difficult.

 “In America, our differences do not outweigh what we have in common.” In a recent article in the National Review, “The Art of Parallel Purposes,” the author highlights the very different lives of artists, Jay Norwood Darling and Robert Rauschenberg, and yet shows “commonalities worth conserving in America.”

Consider the capacity of art to console, connect, and comfort: “For the Love of Art:  Alain de Botton on Art as Therapy”

Gaining inspiration from our environment, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel vows to fight climate change moving forward. 

Darling’s artwork was a big hit at The Wildlife Society 2019 Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada. Also, enjoy viewing the TWS 2019 Annual Conference reflections along with an invitation to TWS 20th Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Our friends in Canada take home a Huge Win in Conservation as the government pledged $1.3 billion to meet their conservation goals by 2025.

Listen to the story of the first Federal Duck Stamp in “Ding” Darling’s own words.

Fifteen students and four student mentors participated in Kentucky’s first Our Outdoor Dreamers summer camp in Princeton, Kentucky. Learning about the legacies of conservation heroes throughout history inspired these young student leaders to get outdoors and enjoy and steward the wonders of nature.

We are excited to share We Knew Him When: An Exhibit of Jay N. “Ding” Darling that is currently housed in Drake University’s Cowles Library in Des Moines, Iowa.

Inspiring “outdoor dreamers” by connecting children to 13 prominent historical conservation leaders is the purpose of the Institute’s new Our Outdoor Heroes curriculum program. The foundation for the curriculum was inspired by an interview with Dr. Mark Madison, Historian, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Looking forward to a 2020 release of this exciting curriculum!

The Jay N. Darling Institute has a new home at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa! As Drake University shares in a part of Darlings history by awarding him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws on June 7, 1926, in recognition of his cultural achievements, it is quite fitting that Drake now serves as the home of Darlings art and papers and houses The Hidden Works of Jay N. “Ding” Darling permanent Exhibit.

The Institute’s traveling exhibit, The Hidden Works of Jay N. “Ding” Darling, was visited by many attendees at The Wildlife Society 2018 Annual Conference.

Artist in Studio Program participant Will Schaeuble was accepted into the Art Institute of Chicago.

We Knew Him When: An Exhibit on Jay N. Darling, curated by Jay N. Darling Institute Director Sam Koltinsky, was hosted by Drake University  in the University’s Cowles Library, 2725 University Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa.

“Iowa’s most famous cartoonist left a legacy greater than you imagined.  Here’s your chance to see it.”  An article in the Des Moines Register announces the opening of the new Jay N. Darling Exhibit at Drake University.

DSM Magazine honors the Darling Institute in their 2018 January/February Edition. Check out the article here!

We welcomed Dennis Ryerson, former editor of Des Moines Register (1996-2001), to share his thoughts.

Darling’s holiday greeting!

Darling’s birthday celebration on October 21st at the Institute.

Housing a legacy—the Jay N. Darling Institute is a dream becoming a reality!

Check back with us often for updates!

Contact Us

Click here for contact information.