The story behind Mangelsen’s masterwork: “Out of Darkness”
Each month we will bring you moments from Mangelsen’s adventures in the field.
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Mangelsen - Images of Nature Gallery


The Legacy Reserve Collection represents some of the most meaningful moments in my life.

Mangelsen's masterwork titled Out of Darkness from his Legacy Reserve Collection
Out of Darkness was photographed in 1985 in Glacier National Park, Montana

Memorable photography, the kind that stays with us and stands the test of time, is often a combination of talent and serendipity. Or, as in Thomas D. Mangelsen’s image Out of Darkness – Eagle, it might involve instinctively tapping into the power of an archetype—in this case, the nation’s undying compassion for its wounded warriors typified, as metaphor here, in the struggle of a wildlife icon.

Mightiest of the continent’s native raptors, the bald eagle, of course, is America’s venerated wildlife symbol. In this dramatic aerial display over McDonald Creek in Montana, a mature female bald eagle, with wings locked, glides out of its dark roost into the first rays of dawn to pluck a landlocked kokanee salmon from the water’s surface. But there is more to the story. Somehow, the avian had lost a talon, likely to a muskrat trap, which could easily have spelled its doom. Mangelsen observed the injured female for days, admiring her perseverance and will to live. Waiting to capture her in all her glory, he succeeded with this photograph that was one of his most sought-after ever, popular especially among the veterans of military families.

On the morning this picture was taken the bird plunged like a fighter jet emerging from its shadowed roost into the auspicious hope of sunlight. Her frame being pulled into the frigid current as she tried to hoist the heavy payload, she struggled, eventually lifting off again and her wet head feathers carrying a frosting of ice. To all who witnessed the bird’s indomitable spirit, as she clutched the salmon in her lone talon, it was—and remains—unforgettable.

A mature female bald eagle glides out of its dark roost into the first rays of dawn to pluck a salmon from the water’s surface.
The Legacy Reserve Collection represents some of the most meaningful moments in my life.
Add a Mangelsen masterwork to your art collection Tour dates for Mangelsen's A LIFE IN THE WILD traveling museum exhibition

The Legacy Experience: Great Sandhill Crane Migration, Along the Famous Platte River in Nebraska

When you acquire a Legacy Reserve Collection masterwork, you and a guest will be invited to join Mangelsen to witness one of the greatest wildlife phenomena in North America, the ancient migration of hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes, and other migratory birds who visit each spring along the famous Platte River in Nebraska.

Travel back in time to the river banks and family cabin where Mangelsen began his photography career. It is where Tom learned animal behavior and most importantly patience from his father, who heavily influenced his love of nature and life outdoors. You will be joined by world-famous ornithologist, Foundations Regent Professor Emeritus and Tom’s lifelong friend and mentor, Dr. Paul Johnsgard.

This three-day VIP experience will take place in March of 2019 and is limited to only 10-16 guests. Visit a gallery or contact Customer Support at 800-228-9686.

Dr. Jane Goodall describes her "Food for the Spirt."
Dr. Jane Goodall talks about what gives her hope.


June 21 | Jackson, Wyoming: Solstice Art Walk from 5-8pm
Celebrate the start of the summer season with our first art walk of the summer! Enjoy art openings, new shows, and food & drink. Tom will not be appearing at this event.

June 29 | Park City, Utah: Gallery Stroll from 6-9pm
Come enjoy light refreshments and stroll through some of the best art galleries in the West. Free and open to the public. Tom will not be appearing at this event.

July 6-8 | Denver, Colorado: Cherry Creek Arts Festival
Join us for Colorado's signature cultural celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts as the streets of the Cherry Creek North come "Alive with Art"! You won’t want to miss this world‐class and award‐winning celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts, and enjoys an attendance of 350,000 visitors over the course of the three‐day event and is focused on providing access to art experiences and to support education.

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Copyright 2018 Thomas D. Mangelsen, Inc. All rights reserved.

Traveling Museum Exhibition | Thomas D. Mangelsen: A Life in the Wild