Artist, writer, naturalist, and Yale graduate James Prosek published his first book at nineteen years of age, Trout: an Illustrated History (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), which featured seventy of his watercolor paintings of the trout of North America. Prosek's work has been shown at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, NY, Gerald Peters Gallery, NY and Santa Fe, The Royal Academy of Arts in London, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, The Yale Center for British Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, with solo exhibitions at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, The Addison Gallery of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The New Britain Museum of American Art, The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, The North Carolina Museum of Art and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC among others.
He has been an artist-in-residence at numerous institutions, including the Yale University Art Gallery, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Addison Gallery of American Art.
Prosek has written for The New York Times and National Geographic Magazine and won a Peabody Award in 2003 for his documentary about traveling through England in the footsteps of Izaak Walton, the seventeenth-century author of The Compleat Angler. He co-founded a conservation initiative called World Trout in 2004 with Yvon Chouinard, the owner of Patagonia clothing company, which raises money for coldwater habitat conservation through the sale of T-shirts featuring trout paintings (Since the start of the program in 2005, the World Trout Initiative has given $2 million to over 200 fish conservation groups). His book Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World's Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish, published in September 2010 was a New York Times Book Review editor's choice, and is the subject of a documentary for PBS series "Nature" that aired in 2013. He is currently working on a book about how and why we name and order the natural world and an article for National Geographic on the Sargasso Sea.
Prosek is a curatorial affiliate, as well as on the board (Leadership Council), of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, and a member of the advisory board of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.