Image of book cover Picturing the Prairie by Philip Juras

Picturing the Prairie: A Vision of Restoration


Order online (or pick up) from:

The Shop: Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL (order online)

Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA (order online)

The Book Stall, Winnetka, IL

Philip Juras, artist and author
Stephen Packard, contributing author
Hank Paulson, foreword

108 Pages | 11 x 9 in. | Hardcover
54 color images, 2 maps
$32.95 (third printing) | ISBN 978-0-578-86458-7
ART/NATURE | Publication date: May 1, 2021
Published by Little Bluestem Press, Athens, GA, with the generous support of the Bobolink Foundation.

The fifty-four paintings in this volume celebrate the natural beauty of the rare tallgrass prairie environments of Illinois and the remarkable legacy of conservation that sustains them. Artist and author Philip Juras’s evocative canvases are based on extensive research, travel, and time in the field with prairie conservation experts. As a result, his luminous paintings, and his descriptions of them, are rich in ecological and historical detail.

      An accompanying essay by acclaimed conservationist Stephen Packard tells the story of how the tallgrass prairie ecosystem was, and is, being saved from extinction in Illinois by a series of remarkable individuals and initiatives—efforts that have inspired conservation practices well beyond the sta­te’s borders.

      Picturing the Prairie invites us to get to know these restored landscapes, both within these pages and in the corresponding 2021 exhibition at the Chicago Botanic Garden. In them we can experience the magnificence of this archetypal American grassland, both in its present reawakening, and as it was in the past.


Philip Juras is a landscape painter whose previous exhibitions and books explore the pre-European settlement Southeast.

Stephen Packard is an ecological restoration expert and cofounder of multiple conservation initiatives including Chicago Wilderness.

Hank Paulson is a conservationist, founder and chairman of the Paulson Institute, and former secretary of the U.S. Treasury.


View the exhibition.