Museum Closure

The New-York Historical Society will close at 3pm on November 26 and remain closed through November 27. For details, please visit our calendar.

Audubon’s Aviary: Parts Unknown (Part II of The Complete Flock)

Mar 21 2014 - May 26 2014

Audubon’s Aviary: Parts Unknown, Part II of the highly successful tripartite series Audubon’s Aviary: The Complete Flock, will continue showcasing masterpieces from the New-York Historical Society collection of John James Audubon’s preparatory watercolors for the sumptuous double-elephant-folio print edition of The Birds of America (1827–38), engraved by Robert Havell Jr.

John James Audubon, Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), Havell plate no. 211, 1821. Watercolor, oil, pastel, graphite, gouache, black ink, and collage on paper, laid on card. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.211

Parts Unknown will consider Audubon as an established artist-naturalist, a world citizen, and a celebrity in an expanding nation—no longer the young Frenchman who created the “early birds” displayed in the first installment. This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition follows Audubon into uncharted territories—geographic, artistic, and scientific—as he encountered and mapped new species and grappled with the disappearing illusion of America’s infinite wilderness. It galvanized his awareness about the necessity of conserving species and habitats.

Macy's Sunday Story Time: New York City Birds!

Sun, March 10th, 2013 | 11:30 am

Recommended for children ages 4–7.

Learn all about New York City’s own birds, including Pale Male the Red-Tailed hawk and the baby Blue Jays of 87th Street. Then head upstairs to see colorful and innovative depictions of birds (including Red-Tailed hawks!) in the first installment of the three-part series Audubon’s Aviary.

Bird Tales: Folk Telling from Around the World

Speaker: 
Bill Gordh

Join folklorist Bill Gordh and celebrate bird heroes, tricksters, and villains. Don’t forget to visit Audubon’s Aviary to see the birds of America!

Sat, March 9th, 2013 | 2:00 pm
Sun, March 10th, 2013 | 2:00 pm

March 9 and 10, 2 pm

Audubon’s Aviary Gallery Tour

Speaker: 
Roberta Olson
Mon, April 22nd, 2013 | 11:00 am

Note: This event is sold out

 

EVENT DETAILS

This spring, the New-York Historical Society celebrates the sesquicentennial of its purchase of the 470 avian watercolors by Audubon, including the 435 models for The Birds of America, from Lucy Bakewell Audubon in 1863.

Northern Parula (Parula americana), Study for Havell pl. no. 15

Object name 
Northern Parula (Parula americana), Study for Havell pl. no. 15
Date 
1821
Medium 
Watercolor, pastel, black ink, graphite, and gouache with selective glazing on paper, laid on card
Dimensions 
18 1/2 x 11 5/8 in. (47 x 29.5 cm)
Credit Line 
New-York Historical Society, Purchased for New-York Historical by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon
Object Number 
1863.17.15
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Audubon: National Treasures—Birds of Winter for The Birds of America (1827–38)

Jan 7 2013 - Feb 24 2013

Looking at these four watercolors you are enjoying an experience similar to that of John James Audubon’s (1785–1851) original subscribers to The Birds of America (1827-38). The watercolors are rotated on a quarterly basis to limit the potential damage caused by their exposure, ensuring that these national treasures are available to future generations.

With Victor Gifford Audubon (1809–1860)
Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta), Havell plate no. 368, ca. 1836–37
Watercolor, graphite, oil, gouache, black ink, pastel, and black chalk with touches of
glazing on paper, laid on card
Purchased for New-York Historical by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon,
1863.17.368

Right:

Smew (Mergellus albellus), Havell plate no. 347, ca. 1834–35
Watercolor, graphite, pastel, oil, and black ink with scratching out and touches of glazing
on paper, laid on card
Purchased for New-York Historical by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon,
1863.17.347

Fall Migration Bird Walk

Speaker: 
Alan Messer
Sat, October 8th, 2011 | 10:00 am

Event details

Journey with wildlife artist Alan Messer to some of the most magical places in Central Park’s wooded Ramble, discovering along the way both resident and migrating birds. Delight in the fall warblers and sparrows along with late-migrating nuthatches, finches and visiting raptors. Walking tours are limited to 35 guests per tour. Please buy tickets in advance.

Audubon’s Aviary: Part I of the Complete Flock

Mar 8 2013 - May 19 2013

For more information on Audubon’s Aviary: Parts Unknown (Part II of The Complete Flock), open March 21-May 26, 2014, click here.
 
To celebrate the sesquicentennial of the New-York Historical Society’s purchase of the Audubon avian watercolors and the the release of the lavishly illustrated book Audubon’s Aviary: The Original Watercolors for “The Birds of America”―published by the New-York Historical Society and Skira/Rizzoli and winner of a 2013 New York Book Show Award—the New-York Historical Society plans a sweeping three-part exhibition to showcase every masterpiece from its unparalleled collection of John James Audubon’s preparatory watercolor models for the sumptuous double-elephant-folio print edition of The Birds of America (1827–38). Over three years Audubon’s Aviary: The Complete Flock (Parts I–III), will feature all 474 stunning avian watercolors by Audubon in the collection, alongside engaging state-of-the-art media installations that will provide a deeper understanding of the connection between art and nature.

John James Audubon (1785-1851), Great Egret (Ardea alba), 1821. Watercolor, graphite, pastel, gouache, white lead pigment, black ink, and black chalk with selective glazing on paper, laid on card. New-York Historical Society, Purchased for the Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.18.30

The trilogy Audubon’s Aviary: The Complete Flock is a once-in-a-lifetime series (2013–2015) that will explore the evolution of Audubon’s dazzling watercolors in the order in which they were engraved. Visitors to New-York Historical will have the unique opportunity to view these national treasures sequentially and in their entirety for the first time—the same way his original subscribers received the Havell plates.

Hudson River Birds: In Celebration of the Quadricentennial of Henry Hudson’s Voyage

Jul 13 2009 - Oct 11 2009

The New-York Historical Society, which holds all 435 dazzling preparatory watercolors for John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-38), continues to showcase a thematic selection of these masterpieces in an installation in the Luce Center, rotating them to ensure that these national treasures remain available to future generations.

Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus), Havell plate no. 199, ca.1833, John James Audubon, 1785-1851, Watercolor, graphite, pastel, black chalk, gouache, and black ink on paper, laid on card, Purchased for the Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.199

To thematically dovetail with the 400 year celebration of Henry Hudson's historic voyage of discovery, and the exhibition Dutch New York between East and West: The World of Margrieta van Varick at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery organized in collaboration with the New-York Historical Society, five of Audubon's watercolors of birds who perch or live along the Hudson River are displayed. One, the Hudsonian Godwit, is even named after a namesake of the explorer's and is found along the river during migration.

Lincoln’s and Other Sparrows for The Birds of America

May 13 2009 - Dec 3 2009

The New-York Historical Society, which holds all 435 dazzling preparatory watercolors for John James Audubon's The Birds of America (1827-38), continues to showcase a thematic selection of these masterpieces, rotating them to ensure that these national treasures remain available to future generations.

Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii), Havell plate no. 193, 1833, John James Audubon, 1785-1851, Watercolor, graphite, pastel, and gouache with touches of black ink and selective glazing on paper, laid on card, Credit Line: Purchased for the Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.193

Sparrows: Good Things Come in Small Packages

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Creative: Tronvig Group