Dexter photographer/illustrator wins statewide honor
DEXTER — On April 25 Dwight Kuhn of Dexter was awarded the Katahdin Award by the Maine Library Association for a lifetime contribution to children’s literature. Before an audience of over 400 librarians and book sellers, the illustrator graciously accepted his award and spoke about his career as a nature photographer and illustrator of children’s nature books.
After graduating from Penn State with a degree in biology, Kuhn and his wife Kathy moved to Maine to begin their teaching careers. They started a family and raised their four children in Dexter.
During summers Kuhn played around with photographing nature. His first paid work was published in Ranger Rick magazine. It was a photo essay related to the raising and release of peregrine falcons by Cornell University. Over the years Kuhn took photos of animals, insects and gardening subjects. His son David encouraged his father’s interest by locating all kinds of wildlife for his dad to photograph. Thousands of photos were published in nature magazines, gardening magazines and textbooks around the world.
Early in his career Kuhn decided that he would like to publish at least one children’s book. Today he has published over 180 children’s books on nature, biology and gardening subjects. His work has appeared in more than 60 photo essays featured in major magazines such as Audubon, Natural History, GEO, Smithsonian, National Geographic, National Wildlife and Ranger Rick.
Kuhn feels greatly honored to be numbered among some of Maine’s best known authors and illustrators who have received the Katahdin award in previous years. These include Robert McCloskey, Dalov Ipcar, Cynthia Voight, Lois Lowry and Bruce McMillian.