When Dan Van Horn ’50 earned his degree in biology, focusing on ornithology, at Kalamazoo College, he came to science with an eye for art. A visit to the Indiana Dunes during his college years intrigued Van Horn, drawing his eye to plant life, but also to the resident birds. Alongside biology, Van Horn studied watercolor painting, but after graduating and going into military service, he switched from watercolor to photography.
Van Horn went on to graduate school to earn a master’s and then his doctoral degree in zoology at the University of Colorado. He was a professor of biology at several colleges and universities, later also a founding member of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs biology department shortly after the branch opened in 1966. Since retiring from teaching, he has immersed himself in art again, winning many awards. He is a signature member of four national watercolor societies, and in 2013, Van Horn was selected for the American Watercolor Society’s 146th Annual Exhibition. The show is traveling to many venues across the United States throughout 2013.
Van Horn lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his wife, but because he grew up in Chicago, many of his watercolors feature that city.