Today's Hours
Museum: Closed
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: Closed
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Timberlake, Bob
(1937)
Collection: American Collection
Specialties: Paintings, Prints
View Artwork
North Carolina's most recognized and successful living artist, Bob
Timberlake lives among the rolling hills of the Piedmont from which he
draws inspiration for his paintings. Born in 1937 in Salisbury, North
Carolina, Timberlake's artistic abilities were evident at an early age.
When only 15, he won an art contest sponsored by Ford Motor Company.
However, after his graduation from the University of Chapel Hill in 1959,
he went to work in a series of family businesses. A visit with renowned
neo-realist artist Andrew Wyeth in 1969 to ask his opinion of Timberlake's
own prospects as an artist led to his finally pursuing an art career at
the age of 33. In May, 1970, his first one-man show at the Gallery of
Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina sold out, a feat that
would be bettered in 1973 when his one-man show at the Hammer Galleries in
New York sold out forty-eight hours before it even opened. Since then he
has had a string of successes, including solo exhibitions at the North
Carolina Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, the Fry Museum
of Seattle, the Isetan Gallery in Tokyo, and the R.W. Norton Art Gallery
in Shreveport, which added two of his paintings, The Studio (1974)
and Snow at the Studio (1981) to its permanent collection. The
Studio
has proven to be an exceptionally popular painting: in 1992,
the First Citizens Bank of North Carolina featured it on personal checks
and credit cards as part of its "Keep North Carolina Clean & Beautiful"
campaign, and Timberlake himself has used it in advertising his furniture
collection.

His talent has been attested to time and again by reviewers and critics:
Harriet Dean of the Charlotte Observer wrote, "Like Wyeth, he is
involved with the sensuous surface, the difference in outdoor and indoor
light, the sun falling through a window or open door", while James Daniel
of Reader's Digest claimed, "New England has its Eric Sloane,
Pennsylvania has its Andrew Wyeth, and the South has its Bob Timberlake,
[who] has caught the feeling of our region as faithfully and beautifully
as Sloane and Wyeth express theirs."

In addition to his talent as an artist, Timberlake has proven to be a
formidable entrepreneur. The furniture collection is part of his
successful licensing company, Bob Timberlake, Inc., and offers eight lines
of furniture along with home accessories and apparel. He has branched out
into other business ventures as well, but the heart of his enterprises
remains his two North Carolina art galleries, one in Lexington, one in
Blowing Rock. There he creates the art that has been featured in his own
books, including The Timberlake Collection (1971), The World of
Bob Timberlake
(1979), and Partial to Home: A Memoir of the
Heart
(1999), as well as a number of anthologies and other media.
Timberlake also designed a Christmas stamp for the U.S. Postal Service in
1980 and the statehood stamps for both South Carolina (1988) and North
Carolina (1989).

He has collected honors for a number of charitable endeavors as well,
including services to the Boy Scouts of America, the Duke Children's
Hospital, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In 1979 he was named North
Carolina Public Servant of the Year, and in 1982, he received the American
Forestry Award for "Enhancing Public Appreciation of America's Natural
Resources through Art", a purpose which his art continues to fulfill as
time goes on.

Museum Staff