The Duck Stamp Story

Ding Darling and Maynard Reece

Artists, Conservationists and Friends

Perhaps the two most significant artists in the history of the Federal Duck Stamp Program were Ding Darling and Maynard Reece. The two duck stamp artists, hunters and Iowans seemed destined to become close friends.

As a hunter, Reece knew what duck stamps were, but he found out about the Federal Duck Stamp Design Contest from Darling. Darling critiqued the aspiring wildlife artist's paintings and offered advice. Reece improved to the level where Darling felt he could not longer teach him. "He was wrong," Reece said. "He helped me until the day he died."

Tribute remarque to Ding Darling.

Reece's letter explains his tribute remarque to his longtime friend Ding Darling.

Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling
Courtesy Ding Darling Foundation.

Maynard Reece became one of the greatest duck stamp artists. Between 1949 and 1971, he won the Federal Duck Stamp Design Contest five times. Courtesy Maynard Reece Gallery.