During the final two years of production of The Birds of America, Audubon accelerated his schedule by combining species in certain plates. A case in point is this watercolor model with five warblers—one named after William MacGillivray, editor of Audubon’s Ornithological Biography and his good friend. He also frequently painted western species from specimens obtained from Townsend and Nuttall. Completing the watercolor in Charleston, Audubon instructed Havell to divide the birds between plates 399 (Figure 1) and 414 (Figure 2). Even though he included a number of species in the same vignette he arranged them in such a manner as to convince us that they were interacting and at any moment could fly off the page to perch in some other branch.
Audubon’s Aviary: Part I and Part II of The Complete Flock
Letter from John James Audubon (Liverpool, England) to Robert Havell Jr. (London, England), December 31, 1827
This letter dates from the first year of the Audubon-Havell collaboration, [...]
Powerful and fast-flying (speeds up to 69 miles per hour), the Peregrine Fa[...]
In Audubon’s era the bird he portrayed in this magnificent watercolor model[...]
Letter from Lucy Audubon (New York, New York) to Frederic De Peyster (New York, New York), February 13, 1863
In this letter to Frederic De Peyster, who brokered the sale of Audubon’s w[...]
Museum StoreWritten by Roberta J.M. Olson with a contribution by Marjorie Shelley, Audubon’s Aviary: The Original Watercolors for the Birds of America returns to these original paintings and tells the story behind this monumental classic with new discoveries about this American icon. Audubon’s Aviary was awarded the 2013 Association of Art Museum Curators Outstanding Permanent Collection Catalogue Prize, as well as the Henry Allen Moe Prize for Catalogs of Distinction in the Arts, the New York State Historical Association, 2013. It was also selected as one of Amazon.com’s 2012 Best Books of the Year and the 2013 New York Book Show Award winner in the category of Fine Art.