Artist Carel Brest van Kempen

Biography of
Carel Brest van Kempen

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Carel Pieter Brest van Kempen grew up in Emigration Canyon, Utah, an ideal place to walk and explore and indulge his youthful fascination for the wild and its varied inhabitants.

Brest van Kempen’s meticulously executed paintings explore the rich variety of nature. Mysterious and exotic reptiles and amphibians rendered in brilliant jewel tones attest to the artist’s belief that chief among nature’s hallmarks is its diversity. Brest van Kempen’s subjects, while untraditional, are no less threatened than those more commonly seen in wildlife art, and they are just as essential in the grand scheme of nature.

Brest van Kempen’s paintings have received widespread acclaim and have been exhibited throughout the world, earning a number of prestigious awards in the U.S., among them “Best of Show” at the 1995 Southeasternn Wildlife Art Expo, the 1995 and 1998 Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Shows, and the in 1992, he earned the Arts for the Parks Wildlife Award. In 1994, he was elected to membership in the Society of Animal Artists, which honored him with their highest honor, “The Award of Excellence” in 1994, 1996, 1997, 2004 and 2006.

Brest van Kempen’s work can also be found in the permanent collections of The Springville Art Museum in Utah, The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, WI, The World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho, and the Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont. He has illustrated a number of books, most recently, Frank DeCourten’s Dinosaurs of Utah, published in 1998 by The University of Utah Press, and Brian Kend’s.


RESIDES: Salt Lake City, UT USA


  • Master member of the Society of Animal Artists
  • America’s Parks Wildlife Award
  • Nine-time recipient of The Society of Animal Artists Award of Excellence
  • Artists for Conservation Medal of Excellence
  • Most Honored Artists of Utah


Solo shows at:

  • “Dobre Novice!” Zaprice Castle Museum, Kamnik, Slovenia Mar-Sep 2024
  • “Wildlife Wonders” Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ Mar-Jun 2024
  • “Over Land & Sea” Aiken Center For The Arts, Aiken, SC Mar-Apr 2024
  • Museum of Arts & Sciences, Daytona Beach, FL
  • Chicago Academy of Sciences, Chicago, IL
  • Kansas Wetlands Educational Center, Great Bend, KS
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum and many others


  • Rigor Vitae: Life Unyielding The Art of Carel Pieter Brest van Kempen


  • Master Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists
Golden Eagle Portrait - Carel Brest Van Kempen
Great Horned Owl in an Old Douglas Fir - Carel Brest van Kempen
Ferruginous Hawk - Carel Brest van Kempen
Probaoscis Monkey - Carel Brest van Kempen