Reading Into History Family Book Club: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

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Speaker: 
Jessica Shearer
Sun, 04/06/2014 - 15:00 to 17:00
Sun, April 6th, 2014 | 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Just before her 12th birthday, Calpurnia Tate, or Callie Vee, isn't quite ready to become a grown-up in her Texas town in 1899. Especially if it means doing housework instead of the scientific work she's been doing with her grandfather. At the book wrap, we will be joined by Jessica Shearer, an ornithological researcher at the American Museum of Natural History. We'll talk about what it meant to be a woman at the turn of the 20th century, the beginnings of evolutionary biology, and women in science today. Free with admission, ages 9-12 plus adults.

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Macy's Sunday Story Time: Earth Day

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Sun, 04/27/2014 - 11:30
Sun, April 27th, 2014 | 11:30 am

Recommended for ages 3–7. 

When Liam finds a struggling garden on abandoned train tracks in the city he decides to take care of it, speaking a new green movement in the city! After reading how the dreams and efforts of one person can make a difference, discover what happens to a plastic bottle after you throw it in the recycling bin!

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches

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

March 21, 2014
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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. Most of the watercolors in Parts Unknown (studies for Havell plates 176-305) depict water birds, many of which are among Audubon’s most spectacular and largest birds, with numerous studies begun during his southeastern explorations and on his Labrador Expedition.

The exhibition is accompanied by the lavish book Audubon’s Aviary: The Original Watercolors for “The Birds of America” (published by New-York Historical Society and Skira/Rizzoli), which sheds new light on the artist. It has garnered many awards, among them: Outstanding Permanent Collection Catalogue Prize of 2013 (by the Association of Art Museum Curators) and the 2013 Henry Allen Moe Prize for Catalog of Distinction in the Arts. This once-in-a lifetime trilogy explores Audubon’s dazzling watercolors in the order in which they were engraved, affording visitors the unique opportunity to view them sequentially, like his original subscribers, and in their entirety. Audubon organized The Birds of America not by traditional taxonomic order, but according to his aesthetic and practical judgments. He believed this manner of presentation was closer to Nature’s own. Calls and songs of each species provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, together with video footage, will demonstrate the importance of birdsong for species identification and underscore Audubon’s extensive field observations that animated his great work, The Birds of America.

View Curator Roberta Olson discuss selected works on our YouTube page.

John James Audubon: National Treasures—Summer Swans A-swimming for The Birds of America (1827–38)

July 09, 2013
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October 13, 2013

This installation in our Audubon Niche features a rotating selection of watercolors from John James Audubon's The Birds of America. The current installation includes the Trumpeter Swan and Tundra Swan. 

John James Audubon (1785–1851), Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus), Havell pl. 411, 1838. Watercolor, graphite, oil, black ink, black chalk, and white gouache? with touches of pastel and glazing on paper, laid on card. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.411

Swans are the largest members of the waterfowl family Anatidae (genus Cygnus) and among the largest flying birds. The largest species, including the Trumpeter Swan, can reach a length of over 60 inches and weigh over 33 pounds. Their wingspans can almost reach ten feet. No wonder that they presented a real challenge to ornithological illustrators. Compared to closely related geese, they are much larger and have proportionally larger feet and necks. The sexes are alike in plumage, but males are generally bigger and heavier. The Northern Hemisphere species when mature have pure white plumage but the South Hemisphere species are mixed black and white. The Australian Black Swan is completely black except for white flight feathers.

The double-elephant-size The Birds of America (1827–38) contains 435 plates, engraved by Robert Havell Jr., with images of 1,037 individual large birds and over ninety-nine smaller ones in the backgrounds. There are 1,026 individuals in the foregrounds of the extant watercolors that Audubon used as models; he sometimes instructed Havell to add others to the backgrounds. In aggregate they represent just under five hundred species (a number that constantly changes as DNA evidence alters modern taxonomy). This deluxe edition, considered the most spectacular color folio print series ever produced, remains one of the world’s preeminent natural history documents.

Please note that the exhibition Audubon’s Aviary: Part II of The Complete Flock (March 21–May 26, 2014) will include many of the water birds from his southern travels and on the Labrador Expedition. It will feature the watercolor models for Havell plates 201–305 (fascicles 36–61). Part III of The Complete Flock (March 13–May 10, 2015) will highlight his final groups (fascicles 62–87), when he was rushing to complete his quest and, therefore, represented western species to bookend the North American continent.

 

Meet the Fledglings!

Speaker: 
The Wild Bird Fund
Sat, 05/04/2013 - 14:00
Sat, May 4th, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Recommended for ages 6 - 10
Saturday May 4th, 2 pm

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Macy's Sunday Story Time: Earth Day

Sun, 04/21/2013 - 11:30
Sun, April 21st, 2013 | 11:30 am

Recommended for children ages 4–7.

When Liam finds a struggling garden on abandoned train tracks in the city he decides to take care of it, sparking a new green movement in the city! After reading how the dreams and efforts of one person can make a difference, discover what happens to a plastic bottle after you throw it in the recycling bin!

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches

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

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:30
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.

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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, 03/09/2013 - 14:00
Sat, March 9th, 2013 | 2:00 pm
Sun, March 10th, 2013 | 2:00 pm

March 9 and 10, 2 pm

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The Trees of Central Park: Summer Walk

Speaker: 
Leslie Day
Trudy Smoke
Sat, 06/29/2013 - 09:00
Sat, June 29th, 2013 | 9:00 am

Note: This event is sold out

 

EVENT DETAILS

Home to over 100 species of trees, Central Park is a superb place to observe specimens both native and transplant alike. Journey through the park and learn how to identify some of the trees that call it home. Walking tours are limited to 35 guests per tour. Please buy tickets in advance.

Price: 
$30
Members price: 
$18
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Spring Migration Walk in the Ramble 2

Speaker: 
Alan Messer
Sun, 05/19/2013 - 09:00
Sun, May 19th, 2013 | 9:00 am

Note: This event is sold out.

 

EVENT DETAILS

Central Park’s 38-acre Ramble is a bird watcher’s paradise, where more than 270 species have been spotted in a single year. Journey with wildlife artist and illustrator Alan Messer to some of the most magical places in the Ramble, discovering along the way both resident and migrating birds. During the spring migration in May, delight in the colorful warblers, hummingbirds, tanagers, and thrushes. Walking tours are limited to 35 guests per tour. Please buy tickets in advance.

Price: 
$30
Members price: 
$18
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