Exhibitions

Audubon’s Aviary: Part I of the Complete Flock

March 08, 2013
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May 19, 2013
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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.

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.

Audubon’s Aviary: Part I of the Complete Flock will open with a fascinating look at the self-taught Audubon’s development of his innovative signature depictions and experimental media. To elucidate this early chapter in his life, New-York Historical will supplement its own rich holdings (dating from 1808) by borrowing a selection of the artist’s rare, earliest pastels: eleven from Houghton Library of Harvard University and and fifteen from the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de la Rochelle, Collection Société des Sciences Naturelles de la Charente-Maritime, in France. The French pastels were only discovered recently and have never been seen outside of La Rochelle. These “early birds” capture Audubon’s youthful excitement about drawing birds while in France and during his first years in America. They also reveal important new discoveries about the renown artist-naturalist’s methods and his early career drawing birds. Following his introduction of early pastels into which Audubon gradually introduced watercolor, the exhibition will feature over 220 of the artist’s avian watercolors, including the first 175 models engraved in The Birds of America.

 

Exhibition Closures:

April 20: Audubon's Aviary closes at 3 pm

April 25: Audubon's Aviary closes at noon

Press

Thirteen: New-York Historical Society's Audubon Collection: NYC-ARTS

Writer's Voice: Roberta Olson, AUDUBON’S AVIARY & Chaz Nielsen, HENRY GETS MOVING

Pittsburg Post-GazettePreview: Brushing up on Audubon's genius

Art of the Times: Great New Books

The Urban Audubon: A Look at Audubon's Aviary

Audubon MagazineWIN A COPY OF THE GORGEOUS BOOK ‘AUDUBON’S AVIARY’

Behind the Scenes: Pale Male, Audubon and the Life of the Red-Tailed Hawk

Sotheby's: Audubon Marries Art and Science at the New York Historical Society

BBC News: The audacious life and revolutionary work of John Audubon

Cottages & Gardens: For The Birds

New York TimesFinding Painterly Drama in Life’s Delicate Perch

New York Times: Audubon's Aviary slideshow

BloombergAudubon's Aviary: Part I of The Complete Flock

Time Out New York"Audubon’s Aviary: Part I of the Complete Flock"

New York PostWING IT ON!: FOR THE BIRDS

Audubon MagazineNow On Display: Audubon’s Famous Bird Watercolors, Like Never Before

Art DailyNew-York Historical Society showcases stunning collection of John James Audubon's original watercolors

PleinAirAudubon Watercolors

WiredSee Audubon’s Famous Birds Like Never Before

AP: NYC MUSEUM DISPLAYING AUDUBON'S BIRD WATERCOLORS

On Point: John James Audubon And ‘The Birds Of America.’

OutsidePLAID AND CANVAS: AUDUBON'S BIRDS OF AMERICA

Minne's Land: Audubon’s Aviary — worth the visit no matter how far you migrate

NewYork.com: Spring Events for the Birds in New York City

Bloomberg BusinessweekNYC Best

GalleristNY: ‘Audubon’s Aviary: Part I of the Complete Flock’ at the New York Historical Society Museum and Library

ForbesBirds Of America... Untamed? J.J. Audubon's Original Watercolors Alight At The New-York Historical Society

Creative: Tronvig Group