John James Audubon

John James Audubon and "The Birds of America"

Written by:Lee Vedder
Category:Huntington Collections
Format:94 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 47 color illustrations, cloth
Release Date:2006-11-15

Price: $24.95

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Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award, PMA, The Independent Book Publishers Association


John James Audubon’s sumptuous four-volume edition of Birds of America, published between 1827 and 1838, contains 435 hand-colored life-size prints of 1,065 individual American birds. A glorious union of science and art, it remains an unequaled achievement in ornithology illustration.

In tracing Audubon’s quest to produce this groundbreaking work, Vedder draws on the artist and naturalist’s own writings and the latest scholarship on his life and on Birds of America. Plates from the Huntington Library’s double-elephant folio are reproduced in color, including the wild turkey, Baltimore oriole, bald eagle, and the (once presumed extinct) ivory-billed woodpecker. Vedder provides with each plate a commentary on the unique characteristics of the species depicted, based on Audubon’s own observations in the field.


About the Author
Lee A. Vedder is the Luce Curatorial Fellow in American Art at the New York Historical Society in New York City, serving as the primary curator of its painting and sculpture collections. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Maryland and specializes in British and American art of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Review of John James Audubon and The Birds of America:


An excellent introduction to the artist and his life . . . This small book gives a well-written overview of the great artist and his magnificent ornithological illustration. It is a handy first step to a greater appreciation of Audubon's artwork."—Choice: Current Reviews For Academic Libraries

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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