Saturday, February 7, 2009

Calling All Audubon Aficionados

Hooping Crane by John James Audubon

For those of you already familiar with Arader Galleries, John James Audubon needs no introduction. But for those not entirely acquainted with the greatest bird illustrator of all time, the current issue of Art and Antiques Magazine features on article on the notorious artist titled: Call of the Wild: Documenting America’s Birds was the Lifetime Obsession of John James Audubon.

The article begins by tracing Audubon’s extraordinary trials and tribulations. Beginning with his financial struggles and his inability to secure a publisher for The Birds of America, the article underscores Audubon’s commitment of staying true to his goal. Indeed, Audubon persevered, finding a different reception abroad. Eventually, the English engravers Robert Havell Sr. and Robert Havell Jr. agreed to publish the drawings, and The Birds of America was released to subscribers from 1827 to 1838. Ultimately, The Birds of America comprised of 435 color plates, published in the massive double elephant folio format. Yet the article mainly aims to present Audubon aficionados to an exhibit and book that reveal new research regarding what motivated this extraordinary individual.

The article highlights New York Historical Society’s exhibit, Some Things Old, Some Things Borrowed, But Most Things New, which traces Audubon’s ingenuity with respect to his predecessors and contemporaries. The book, Audubon: Early Drawings (published in September of 2008 by Harvard University Press) features Audubon’s work until 1821, illustrating how Audubon’s skill developed overtime. Lastly, but certainly not least, the article quotes W. Graham Arader III himself on what makes Audubon’s birds so iconic.

The article nicely traces the production history of The Birds of America and introduces new developments about what inspired this infamous artist. For anyone who appreciates the majesty of Audubon’s Birds of America we invite you to stop by Arader Galleries to view our exceptional collection of Audubon’s hand-colored aquatint engravings from Birds of America. Also, should you find yourself in New York City from February 13 to April 5 we strongly encourage you to catch the Audubon exhibit at the New York Historical Society.

We also have an excellent selection of Audubon's hand-colored engravings available for purchase at Arader Galleries. Please visit or call 415-788-5115 for more information.

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