Museum Open

Please note, the Museum will be open, Monday, May 27, 10 am–6 pm for Memorial Day. Service members receive free Admission in honor of Fleet Week.

Audubon's Watercolors for The Birds of America

Artist: John James Audubon
Title: Snowy Owl, Havell Plate no, 121
Medium: Watercolor, graphite, pastel, and black ink with touches of glazing on paper, laid on card

John James Audubon is revered as one of the most gifted naturalist-illustrators of the nineteenth century. So it is hard to believe that, following his death, his widow Lucy had trouble finding a repository for her husband's legacy. In 1862, Mrs. Audubon offered the New-York Historical Society the original drawings used to produce Audubon's seminal work, The Birds of America, and though it would take a year to raise the funds needed to acquire the drawings, in 1863 New-York Historical finally purchased all 435 preparatory watercolors, plus thirty-four other works. Today, New-York Historical has the largest holdings of Audubon-related material in the world.

A limited selection of the holdings are on view in the Luce Center. All 474 watercolors in the collection will be on display in Audubon's Aviary


Creative: Tronvig Group