John James Audubon: National Treasures—Summer Swans A-swimming for The Birds of America (1827–38)

Jul 9 2013 - Oct 13 2013

This installation in our Audubon Niche features a rotating selection of watercolors from John James Audubon's The Birds of America. The current installation includes the Trumpeter Swan and Tundra Swan. 

John James Audubon (1785–1851), Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus), Havell pl. 411, 1838. Watercolor, graphite, oil, black ink, black chalk, and white gouache? with touches of pastel and glazing on paper, laid on card. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.411

Swans are the largest members of the waterfowl family Anatidae (genus Cygnus) and among the largest flying birds. The largest species, including the Trumpeter Swan, can reach a length of over 60 inches and weigh over 33 pounds. Their wingspans can almost reach ten feet. No wonder that they presented a real challenge to ornithological illustrators. Compared to closely related geese, they are much larger and have proportionally larger feet and necks. The sexes are alike in plumage, but males are generally bigger and heavier.

Meet the Fledglings!

Speaker: 
The Wild Bird Fund
Sat, May 4th, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Recommended for ages 6 - 10
Saturday May 4th, 2 pm

Animals Alive! with Mr. Zelenka

Speaker: 
Jerry Zelenka
Sun, April 21st, 2013 | 1:30 pm

The wonders of nature are a touch away when you are introduced to the world of animals by Jerry Zelenka. While blending excitement and surprise with care and understanding, Mr. Zelenka helps audiences of all ages develop an appreciation for all living things—from the ordinary to the exotic!

Celebrate Earth Day during this hour-long program at the New-York Historical Society. The audience is encouraged to touch and pet a variety of animals, including birds, lizards, tarantulas, alligators and snakes!

Macy's Sunday Story Time: New York City Birds!

Sun, March 10th, 2013 | 11:30 am

Recommended for children ages 4–7.

Learn all about New York City’s own birds, including Pale Male the Red-Tailed hawk and the baby Blue Jays of 87th Street. Then head upstairs to see colorful and innovative depictions of birds (including Red-Tailed hawks!) in the first installment of the three-part series Audubon’s Aviary.

Bird Tales: Folk Telling from Around the World

Speaker: 
Bill Gordh

Join folklorist Bill Gordh and celebrate bird heroes, tricksters, and villains. Don’t forget to visit Audubon’s Aviary to see the birds of America!

Sat, March 9th, 2013 | 2:00 pm
Sun, March 10th, 2013 | 2:00 pm

March 9 and 10, 2 pm

Spring Migration Walk in the Ramble 2

Speaker: 
Alan Messer
Sun, May 19th, 2013 | 9:00 am

Note: This event is sold out.

 

EVENT DETAILS

Central Park’s 38-acre Ramble is a bird watcher’s paradise, where more than 270 species have been spotted in a single year. Journey with wildlife artist and illustrator Alan Messer to some of the most magical places in the Ramble, discovering along the way both resident and migrating birds. During the spring migration in May, delight in the colorful warblers, hummingbirds, tanagers, and thrushes. Walking tours are limited to 35 guests per tour. Please buy tickets in advance.

Spring Migration Walk in the Ramble 1

Speaker: 
Alan Messer
Sun, May 5th, 2013 | 9:00 am

Note: This event is sold out.

 

EVENT DETAILS

Central Park’s 38-acre Ramble is a bird watcher’s paradise, where more than 270 species have been spotted in a single year. Journey with wildlife artist and illustrator Alan Messer to some of the most magical places in the Ramble, discovering along the way both resident and migrating birds. During the spring migration in May, delight in the colorful warblers, hummingbirds, tanagers, and thrushes. Walking tours are limited to 35 guests per tour. Please buy tickets in advance.

Audubon’s Aviary Gallery Tour

Speaker: 
Roberta Olson
Mon, April 22nd, 2013 | 11:00 am

Note: This event is sold out

 

EVENT DETAILS

This spring, the New-York Historical Society celebrates the sesquicentennial of its purchase of the 470 avian watercolors by Audubon, including the 435 models for The Birds of America, from Lucy Bakewell Audubon in 1863.

Northern Parula (Parula americana), Study for Havell pl. no. 15

Object name 
Northern Parula (Parula americana), Study for Havell pl. no. 15
Date 
1821
Medium 
Watercolor, pastel, black ink, graphite, and gouache with selective glazing on paper, laid on card
Dimensions 
18 1/2 x 11 5/8 in. (47 x 29.5 cm)
Credit Line 
New-York Historical Society, Purchased for New-York Historical by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon
Object Number 
1863.17.15
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Audubon: National Treasures—Birds of Winter for The Birds of America (1827–38)

Jan 7 2013 - Feb 24 2013

Looking at these four watercolors you are enjoying an experience similar to that of John James Audubon’s (1785–1851) original subscribers to The Birds of America (1827-38). The watercolors are rotated on a quarterly basis to limit the potential damage caused by their exposure, ensuring that these national treasures are available to future generations.

With Victor Gifford Audubon (1809–1860)
Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta), Havell plate no. 368, ca. 1836–37
Watercolor, graphite, oil, gouache, black ink, pastel, and black chalk with touches of
glazing on paper, laid on card
Purchased for New-York Historical by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon,
1863.17.368

Right:

Smew (Mergellus albellus), Havell plate no. 347, ca. 1834–35
Watercolor, graphite, pastel, oil, and black ink with scratching out and touches of glazing
on paper, laid on card
Purchased for New-York Historical by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon,
1863.17.347

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