John James Audubon
John Woodhouse Audubon, John James Audubon (1785-1851). Oil on linen. New-York Historical Society, 1974.46
From a young age, Audubon was obsessed by one idea: to observe, record and publish images of all of the species of birds in North America. During his life, people recognized Audubon's bird watercolors as both important documents of natural history and dazzling works of art. Audubon was one of America's greatest watercolorists and he depicted birds in new ways. He was the first to show birds life size and interacting with each other, and also showed different sexes, ages and seasonal plumages of the same species. We also value his images because they include species that became extinct, and today they live only in his watercolors. In 1863 New-York Historical purchased all 435 of Audubon’s preparatory watercolors, plus thirty-four other works. Today, New-York Historical has the largest holdings of Audubon-related material in the world.
Audubon’s Aviary: Some Things Old, Some Things Borrowed, Most Things New
Audubon: National Treasures—The Five Watercolors for the First Fascicle of "The Birds of America"
Audubon: National Treasures—The Five Watercolors for the Second Fascicle of "The Birds of America"
Birds of Central Park