Indepth Arts News: |
"Audubon's Wilderness Palette:
The Birds of Canada"
2000-10-28 until 2000-12-03
Art Gallery of Hamilton
Admired as both an artist and naturalist, John James Audubons (1785-1851)
name is synonymous with images from a world that has, in part, vanished. His
extensive travels during the early part of the nineteenth century and his exhaustive
recording of birds indigenous to North America culminated in the publishing of
his masterwork folio Birds of America, a landmark of early pictorial depictions of
the new world. Consisting of 435 hand-coloured engravings, the folio took twelve
years to complete (1827-1839) and depicts over one thousand species in
life-size and in their proper ecological setting.
Audubons Wilderness Palette presents an impressive and engaging cross
section of prints from the folio that focus for the first time on the artists Canadian
excursions in the early nineteenth century. While his keen observations and
patient studies in the field contributed greatly to the nineteenth-centurys growing
body of ornithological knowledge, today his images offer us a rare view of a
number of birds that are currently endangered or have become extinct.
Arguably the most significant series of ornithological studies ever made, the folio provides us with a
comprehensive taste of Audubons particular pictorial blend of art and science.
This major traveling exhibition, is drawn from the Toronto Public Librarys rare and complete copy of the
original publication. This exhibition is guest curated by David Lank. It is one of only five sets held in
Canada. the generosity of TD Canada Trust allowed for both the conservation and national tour of the
engravings. As the closing venue of the tour, the AGH is proud to offer the public a final opportunity to
glimpse this exceptional material.
John James Audubon.
Great Blue Heron
Engraving with aquatint coloured by hand
Td Canada Trust Audubon Collection,
Toronto Reference Library