Did you know that the New-York Historical Society houses the world's largest collection of Auduboniana? One of the great American artist-naturalists, John James Audubon (1785–1851) was the legendary rara avis who created the landmark Birds of America (1827–38). Experience highlights from Audubon’s spectacular watercolor models for the 435 plates of The Birds of America with their corresponding plates from the double-elephant-folio series, engraved by Robert Havell Jr. This intimate gallery—the only place in the world where one can see the artist's watercolor model, the Havell plate, and reduced octavo-edition exhibited together—features a bimonthly rotation that highlights a single species at a time. Each rotation also includes other watercolors and Auduboniana to showcase the artist’s creative process and his contributions to ornithological illustration. Curated by Roberta J.M. Olson, curator of drawings emerita.
Note: Due to the watercolor medium and its paper support, these light-sensitive works can only be displayed for short periods of time under low light levels. The gallery allows New-York Historical to share these national treasures with the public while preserving them for future generations.
Shop at the NYHistory Store! Browse Audubon-themed gifts, like the book Audubon's Aviary: The Original Watercolors for "The Birds of America", which traces the story behind Audubon's classic with new discoveries, fresh insights, and engaging quotes from Audubon's own writing.
Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Seymour Neuman Endowed Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.
Spotlighted Species: Pine Warbler
Surveys of the species suggest that Pine Warbler numbers are stable and perhaps even increasing slightly. The good news, however, is tempered by the knowledge that increased climate change will reshape and diminish their range, which is already limited. The species is only a partial short-distance migrant. Almost the entire population—northern migrants and resident Pine Warblers—spend the winter within the southern United States.