Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Art of Natural History at Prescott College

            Natural history--the practice of focused attentiveness to nature—is as old as humanity: there have never been people without natural history.  Natural history field observations have adorned cave walls in France and canyon walls in Arizona, as well as served as the foundation for sophisticated scientific theories in museums and universities in great cities of the world.  And as readers of this newsletter well know, the artistic traditions inherent in natural history art are endlessly captivating. Natural history represents the integration of sciences, arts, and humanities in a unified approach to understanding the world around us, and plays a central role in a liberal arts education.  In recent years, however, natural history has been marginalized—many academic institutions have removed natural history curricula—and shrunken—the arts and humanities have too often been wrung out of remaining natural history programs.
            Prescott College has long been recognized nationally as a leader in field natural history.  Students have engaged in field study of habitats through North America and beyond for decades—the commitment to the centrality of natural history has never wavered.  Recently, faculty, alumni, and students from the college have been at the core of a national renaissance in natural history. 
            We continue our attempts to lead the way in an integrative, interdisciplinary approach to natural history, facilitated by the Arader Galleries and several kind donors.  We are now proud and grateful stewards of the Josephine Michell Arader Collection of natural history prints--a major collection of works by Audubon, Catesby, Gould, and many other renowned artists.  The collection is named for Josephine Arader, a distinguished alumna of the college and proprietor of the Arader Galleries operation in San Francisco.  This collection is being co-curated by the Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse ( and the college’s new Natural History Institute (, which I serve as Director.  This exciting collaboration between the Art Gallery at Sam Hill and the Institute exemplifies a unified approach to understanding nature, drawing on all aspects of human psyche.  This November we’ll be hosting a special weekend, The Art of Natural History, the Art Gallery at Sam Hill will feature a special exhibition of selections from the Arader Collection (open through December 14), as well as the grand opening of the Natural History Institute.  There’ll be a panel discussion on the relationship between arts, sciences, and observation, a series of nature hikes, a stream restoration workshop, lectures, and more. 
            This weekend is just the beginning for the Natural History Institute, and for its collaboration with the Art Gallery at Sam Hill.  The Institute consists of a small Natural History Gallery, featuring a portion of the Arader Collection on permanent display, along with exhibitions of natural history art by students and others.  Additionally, the Institute will offer programs of natural history on- and off-campus workshops and field explorations, public events and outreach programs, including a distinguished speaker series, as well as hosting research collections (both digital and physical), research space for faculty and students, and a natural history lab for teaching. The Institute strives to live up to its slogan--“Integrating Art, Science, and Humanities.”
            This new Natural History Institute, working closely with the Art Gallery at Sam Hill, will allow Prescott College to build on its long, continuous history of integrated natural history education and offer more of its distinctive programs to greater communities, and to the world at large.  We welcome all friends of the Arader Galleries—to The Art of Natural History weekend, and beyond. 

(The Natural History Institute is currently raising funds for staffing and programming; thanks to a generous donor, all contributions through November 10th will be matched.  Donations can be made at   The Art Gallery at Sam Hill, which manages the Arader Collection, hopes to raise funds for upgrading of its archival capacity; donations can be made at

Thomas L. Fleischner, PhD, is the Director of the Natural History Institute at Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona.  He can be reached at, and found at

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Results of the Arader Audubon Auction, 5/11/2013

Barney Lipscomb, the Leonhardt Chair of Texas Botany at the BRIT (Botanical Research Institute Texas), renowned for his award-winning and unusual approach to bringing the science of botanical taxomony to the non-scientist 'performed' his lecture Art and Science: A Botanist's Eye: Redouté and the Art of Floral Illustration, to a full and enthusiastic house at Arader Galleries, at 29 E. 72nd Street, NYC on Friday evening. He presented a very lively look at the history and evolution of art and botanical science from the first century AD through the life of Pierre-Joseph Redouté, one of the greatest botanical illustrators and flower painters of all time, complete with slide-show and musical score, against the spectacular back drop of some of Redoute's original watercolours on vellum from his magnum opus "Les Liliacees", and John James Audubon's hand-coloured aquatints from his magnificent double-elephant folio "The Birds of America" (London, 1827-1838), all offered for public auction the following day.

Lipscomb's inspirational lecture was followed by a sumptuous dinner generously hosted by Mr. Arader at the famous Nickerbocker Club on 62nd Street, at which he honoured Professor Lipscomb for his pioneering efforts which bring the art of natural history into the classrooms of America: a cause very close to Mr. Arader's own heart, who has just donated an extraordinarily fine and comprehensive collection of works of art that reflect the history of the discovery of the natural world, and how that knowledge was brought from the new to the old world, to the University of South Carolina students studying subjects from art history to environmental science, a donation valued at $30,000,000.

Saturday's auction of hand colored aquatints from John James Audubon's magnificent double-elephant folio "The Birds of America", the single most important work on North American ornithology; hand-colored lithographs from his Imperial folio "The Viviparous Quadrupeds", the first great all-American color-plate book; and exquisitely beautiful original watercolors on vellum from Pierre-Joseph Redoute's magnum opus "Les Liliacees", conducted by Guernsey’s at Arader Galleries at 72nd Street, in New York, this last Saturday, was a triumph, for Arader Galleries and for the universities that Mr. Arader supports through his philanthropic educational programs , as 20% of the hammer price of each lot sold will be donated to one of these programs, or a charity of the purchaser's choice.

More than one third of the plates from the original publications of "Birds of America" and "The Viviparous Quadrupeds" went under the hammer and were more than 85% sold by lot. Not surprisingly some exceptionally high prices were achieved for some iconic images: $100,000 for plate number, and lot number, one "The Male Turkey"; $110,000 for the "Snowy Owl"; and $90,000 for the Long-Billed Curlew. The normally tranquil Arader Gallery at 72nd Street, was buzzing with more than 125 potential private and institutional bidders jostling for standing room only, as many of the other 230 lots sold for well over their high estimates. Arader Galleries retains a comprehensive gallery of works of art by both Audubon and Redoute, and we welcome all visitors at our galleries in New York, Philadelphia, Houston and San Francisco, or to our website

At this point cash gifts to Arader Galleries' Client's charities appear to be headed well over $400,000 as a result of giving programs established by this auction. The idea of all auctions generating a minimum of a 10% of hammer donation to the buyer's charity makes sense and is clearly being embraced by collectors. The art museums, libraries and 3600 four year colleges in the United States that create interest in fine art and the decorative arts should be rewarded for creating and maintaining the interest in collecting that is such a major fabric in American life today. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Exciting Opportunity for Audubon Collectors! - May 11, 2013

Arader Galleries is very happy to announce our upcoming Auction, held in conjunction with Guernsey’s Auction House, devoted entirely to Audubon’s celebrated hand-colored aquatints from his iconic double elephant folio edition of “The Birds of America” (1827-1838), the single most important work on North American ornithology; and hand colored lithographs from the imperial folio edition of the “Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America”, the first truly great American color-plate book.

The auction will be held at our gallery on the corner of Madison Avenue and 72nd Street, New York, on Saturday May 11th, 2013.

As part of our on going commitment to philanthropy, Arader Galleries will donate 20% of the hammer price of any lot purchased to the University of Florida, University of South Carolina, Prescott College, Marymount College, the University of Tennessee, Northeastern University, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Robinhood Foundation, the Audubon Society, The Pennsylvania Audubon Society, or Mill grove; or 10% of the hammer price of any lot purchased to any institution, museum, school, hospital, foundation, botanic garden, zoo, research library or university you designate, that is an IRS approved charity.

All lots with an estimate under $5,000 will be sold with NO RESERVE, making this an excellent opportunity to acquire these works of art at very attractive prices. When viewing the catalog, either online, or as a printed copy, you will find in depth descriptions of all Audubon engravings that will be in the auction on May 11th. For each engraving, guidance is provided setting out previous auction sale prices.

We warmly welcome you to come and view these great works of art at our New York gallery in the weeks ahead of the auction. If you are unable to attend the viewing, or the auction, in person, you can bid securely over the internet via

You can download a complete catalog of all featured lots and estimates for this auction here: 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Seeing the World From Here: Lone Mountain Cemetery

The University of San Francisco boasts the tagline: changing the world from here. At Arader Galleries, our collection of historically significant maps provides the opportunity to see the changing world from right here: 432 & 435 Jackson Street.
One of our many views of San Francisco, shares insight into the history of Lone Mountain, the name today recognized as the Upper Campus of the University of San Francisco. From 1854 to 1862 the name “Lone Mountain” referred to a 170 acre tract of land approximately 2.25 miles west of Montgomery Street and three fourths of a mile south of the Golden Gate Bridge; it was the chief burial site for the city of San Francisco.
Lone Mountain existed as a single cemetery for several years, a article published in Daily Alta California, 6 January 1858 refers to Bush Street, just a stone’s throw away from Arader Galleries, as the “Cemetery Road”.  By the early 1860’s the cemetery was subdivided into four cemeteries known as the “Big Four”: Laurel Hill, Calvary, Masonic, and Odd Fellows Cemeteries, this shift in landscape can be seen in most maps of San Francisco at Arader Galleries that were produced after the year 1860.
Lone Mountain Cemetery Duotone Lithograph. Drawn from Nature on Stone by Kuchel & Kamp; Dresel. Printed by Britton Rey. 10¾x18½ on sheet 15½x21¼.
 Beginning with John Orr, interred on June 10, 1854, the cemeteries grew until the 1880’s. As the first interred in these cemeteries, John Orr’s tombstone was inscribed: "To the Memory of the First Inhabitant of this Silent City." The silent city was populated by many California pioneers including U.S. senator David Broderick, Major James Van Ness; and Andrew Smith Hallidie, the inventor of the cable car. These famous residents of the “silent city” were eventually moved to a new cemetery in Colma.
By the 1880’s property owners in the area surrounding the cemeteries grew concerned that the cemeteries discouraged development nearby and began to demand that the cemeteries be relocated. According to the San Francisco Historical Society, “The grounds of the cemeteries deteriorated and became a haven for pranksters, juvenile delinquents, and ghouls. By 1900, most of the graveyards had been filled. In 1902, the Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance prohibiting further burials within the city and outlawing the sale of cemetery lots in the "Big Four."”.  The relocation was met by much opposition including the Catholic archdiocese which identified the land at Calvary cemetery as hallowed. It took nearly 40 years and two articles of state legislation to permit the relocation of all four cemeteries, including over 66,000 bodies in various states of decay to Colma, California where new cemeteries were constructed.
The collection of views and maps at Arader Galleries provide a unique perspective on San Francisco’s rich history. Please contact Arader Galleries for more information regarding these and other printed works.
AL Bancroft & Co Official Guide Map of San Francisco 1882    

Detail,AL Bancroft & Co Official Guide Map of City 1882    

Proctor, William A., Department of City Planning, City and County of San Francisco. Location, Regulation, and Removal of Cemeteries in the City and County of San Francisco. San Francisco Archives, Public Library.
Lockwood, Charles, "The Victorian Way of Death," California Living (August 12, 1979).
Carroll, Luke M., Holy Cross Parish and Lone Mountain District of San
, published in Honor of Golden Jubilee, October 1937.

"Spotlight on Rehab; Neptune Society Restores Columbarium," Heritage
Newsletter, vol. XVI, no. 2.

Kastler, Deanna. San Francisco Museum and       Historical Society, 2003.
Liston, Frances, A Self-guided Tour of Colma  Cemeteries.
McGloin, John Fr., "The Living History of St. Ignatius," San Francisco
Foghorn, February 14, 1986.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Arader Galleries: "The Shaping of San Francisco: The Silver Age"

On January 23rd Mr. Charles Fracchia concluded his lecture series at Arader galleries with “The Shaping of San Francisco: The Silver Age”. Mr. Fracchia is a lifelong resident of San Francisco; he founded its historical society and is a dear friend to the gallery. Fracchia’s knowledge of San Francisco is seemingly limitless, and is considered an expert in his field. His broad knowledge of his subject along with childhood memories make for a well rounded trip through San Francisco’s rich cultural and architectural history.

In Tuesday’s lecture Fracchia lectured on what is known as San Francisco’s “Silver Age”; in 1859 silver was discovered in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, known as the "Comstock Lode". The Comstock Lode sparked a new economic and population boost to the City by the Bay, the effects of which are still felt even today.

Parkinson's Map of the Comstock Lode and Washoe Mining Claims
San Francisco: 1875

We love having education events such as Mr. Fracchia's lecture series here at Arader Galleries. They are an excellent way to dig deeper into history and serve to inform and entertain. We hope you can join us at our next event. Check our website to see when our next event will be held!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Arader Galleries Presents: the Shaping of San Francisco

W. Vallace Gray and Charles B. Gifford
"Bird's Eye View of the City and County of San Francisco, 1868"
San Francisco: 1868-69
Hand-tinted lithograph

Please join Arader Galleries for a very special evening with Mr. Charles Fracchia

Arader Galleries is pleased to be hosting Mr. Charles Fracchia for the final segment of his 3-Part Lecture Series "The Shaping of San Francisco" on the evening of Tuesday, January 22 at 6:15 pm where he will be presenting Part 3:

The Shaping of San Francisco.
Part 1: The Spanish Mexican Period (September 20th)
Part 2: The Gold Rush (October 17th)
Part 3: The Silver Age (January 22nd)

Charles Fracchia is the Founder and President of The San Francisco Historical Society and is passionate about San Francisco's extraordinary history.

Arader Galleries in Jackson Square's historic district, is the perfect backdrop to host this lecture, as many of the Gold Rush-era commercial buildings in the Jackson Square area managed to escape the 1906 earthquake. The lectures will take place at our beautiful building at 432 Jackson Street.

This lecture is free to attend. Please RSVP by calling the gallery at (415) 788-5115, availability is limited!

We will look forward to seeing you!

The Arader Galleries Team