Developer & Inspiration for the NatureMaker Steel Art Tree™ 1931- 2004
Artist/sculptor/ecologist/inventor/entrepreneur and mentor to many, Bennett Abrams was known as a gentle and restless spirit who manifested his limitless creativity into a successful forty-year career in the visual arts.
In the 1960s, spurred by the budding environmental movement, his research into Egyptian mummification, Victorian taxidermy and other preservation methodologies led him to create a series of “eco art” sculptures in wax. These were primarily commissioned by museums, corporations, and private collectors.
Vignettes of butterflies, fallen leaves, and mossy hillsides of trembling wildflowers, “frozen under glass,” initially a fad, became a sought-after decorative and collectible art throughout the 1970s.
In 1977, Abrams was commissioned by The Long Beach Museum of Contemporary Art to create a comprehensive retrospective of the “best of” his “eco art” period, 1969 – 1975. The exhibition was named “Natura Naturans” (literally, “nature naturing”).
In the 1980s, he and his life partner, Gary Hanick, founded California Country Trees, and later, their public studio, NatureMaker.
Since then, NatureMaker has gained worldwide recognition for inventing, innovating, and promulgating an entirely new art form: “steel art trees.”