Despite his great fame, John James Audubon was not the first to produce crisp and accurate images of birds for sale to an increasingly curious public. His monumental work was indebted to earlier artist-scientists, starting with late Italian Renaissance pioneers in ornithology to his own Victorian contemporaries. These less well-known artists, the main subject of this exhibition, were fueled by curiosity and incredible voyages of discovery. They documented and classified nature accurately, contributing to advances in both science and art.
Guest Curator Tom Puryear has assembled a collection of over 90 woodcuts, hand-colored engravings, and lithographs from both sides of the Atlantic to reveal the many illustrated publications that preceded and then competed for attention with Audubon’s efforts.
Exhibition overview from museum website