Artist, writer, naturalist, and Yale graduate James Prosek made his authorial debut at nineteen years of age with Trout: an Illustrated History (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), which featured seventy of his watercolor paintings of the trout of North America. Prosek's work has been shown at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, NY, Gerald Peters Gallery, NY and Santa Fe; the Dumbo Arts Center, Brooklyn, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, with solo exhibitions at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, The Addison Gallery of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC among others. Prosek has written for The New York Times and National Geographic Magazine and won a Peabody Award in 2003 for his documentary about traveling through England in the footsteps of Izaak Walton, the seventeenth-century author of The Compleat Angler. He co-founded a conservation initiative called World Trout in 2004 with Yvon Chouinard, the owner of Patagonia clothing company, which raises money for coldwater habitat conservation through the sale of T-shirts featuring trout paintings. His book Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World's Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish, published in September 2010 was a New York Times Book Review editor's choice, and is the subject of a documentary for PBS series "Nature" that aired in 2013. He is currently working on a book about how we name and order the natural world and an article for National Geographic on the Sargasso Sea.
His latest book (Ocean Fishes, Rizzoli, 2012) is a collection of paintings of 35 Atlantic fishes, all of which were painted life size based on individual specimens he traveled to see. In autumn of 2012 Prosek was awarded the Gold Medal for Distinction in Natural History Art from the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.
Prosek is a curatorial affiliate of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, and a member of the advisory board of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.