“Fargo” Brothers Sweep Federal Duck Stamp Contest

Joseph Hautman’s winning trumpeter swans. Courtesy of USFWS/Facebook.

As The Star Tribune reports, Minnesota's famous Hautman brothers swept this year's Federal Duck Stamp Contest, finishing first, second, and third, respectively, out of 157 entries. Joseph Hautman's acrylic painting of a pair of trumpeter swans was chosen as the piece for the 2016-2017 Federal Duck Stamp. Robert and James Hautman finished second and third, each submitting paintings of mallard pairs.

Among them, the Hautman brothers have won 11 Federal Duck Stamp Contests, and their work has been featured on more than 50 federal and state stamps. Also, for you movie buffs out there, the brothers are name-checked in the Coen brothers' 1996 classic Fargo. (The Hautmans and the Coens were childhood friends.)

Since 1949, the Federal Duck Stamp Contest has been open to any American artist who wishes to enter, and it’s the only art competition sponsored by the federal government. The $25 stamp is required of all hunters who pursue waterfowl. The stamp program began in 1934 and has raised more than $800 million to protect waterfowl habitat.

See all of this year's entries here.