Welcome back! New-York Historical is now open for visitors. Book your timed-entry tickets. And reserve separate, timed-entry tickets for our free, outdoor exhibition Hope Wanted in the rear courtyard.

John James Audubon

John Woodhouse Audubon, John James Audubon (1785-1851). Oil on linen. New-York Historical Society, 1974.46

From a young age, Audubon was obsessed by one idea: to observe, record and publish images of all of the species of birds in North America. During his life, people recognized Audubon's bird watercolors as both important documents of natural history and dazzling works of art. Audubon was one of America's greatest watercolorists and he depicted birds in new ways. He was the first to show birds life size and interacting with each other, and also showed different sexes, ages and seasonal plumages of the same species. We also value his images because they include species that became extinct, and today they live only in his watercolors. In 1863 New-York Historical purchased all 435 of Audubon’s preparatory watercolors, plus thirty-four other works. Today, New-York Historical has the largest holdings of Audubon-related material in the world.


Audubon: Birdman for a Fledgling Nation
Audubon’s Aviary: The Final Flight (Part III of The Complete Flock)
Audubon’s Aviary: Parts Unknown (Part II of The Complete Flock)
Audubon’s Aviary: Part 1 of The Complete Flock 
Audubon’s Aviary: Some Things Old, Some Things Borrowed, Most Things New 
Audubon’s Gulls 
Audubon's Perfect Pitch: Songbirds
Audubon: National Treasures—The Five Watercolors for the First Fascicle of "The Birds of America" 
Audubon: National Treasures—The Five Watercolors for the Second Fascicle of "The Birds of America"
Big Bird: Looking for Lifesize
Birds of Central Park 

Special Installations

John James Audubon: National Treasures

Audio/Video Tours

Audio Tour: Highlights of the John James Audubon Collection
Video: Highlights of the John James Audubon Collection

Blog Posts

Audubon’s Work Becomes Feathering For Rats Nests
Where Have All The Pigeons Gone?
Pale Male and Audubon 


Audubon’s Watercolors for the Birds of America 


Audubon's Aviary

Creative: Tronvig Group