james-audubon

New Visions Featured Artist: Jessica Roux Inspiration

John James Audubon’s beautiful work is one of the most inspiring things to me. Did you know you can download high res plates on audubon.org for free? These Carolina pigeons are one of my favorites.

Another naturalist-illustrator whose work I love is Maria Sibylla Merian. She not only made beautiful works that document the life cycles of insects, she was also a leading entomologist of her time. Previously, people thought insects were born out of mud - Merian’s work was instrumental in showing that this was not the case, and she detailed the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly.

Dutch photographer Remo Jacobs (@livingitrural on Instagram) is one of my favorite photographers. He captures animals with such grace and texture.

I love this music video for so many reasons. Jordan Bruner’s work is absolutely incredible.

The Creative Pep Talk podcast is one of my favorite things to listen to. It gets me pepped up to work on my illustrations, and Andy J. Miller has so a great, positive perspective on the illustration industry.

Holly Exley is one of my favorite illustrators, and her YouTube channel is full of beautiful and inspiring videos. Her work is gorgeous, and this process video of her painting birds is one of my favorites.

Everyone knows John James Audubon’s bird prints but the lesser known British ornithologist and artist John Gould, who worked with Charles Darwin, also published several series of ornithological prints—193 of Gould’s beautiful works are in our collection. In honor of Thanksgiving, here is his lithograph print of a Meleagris Gallopavo, also known as the wild turkey. 

Posted by Deb Wythe

John James Audubon (1785-1851)

Not a photograph but a picture I took and think is interesting to post. Young Audubon lived before the era of photography and as such he’s a bit off my blog timeline, but…I visited the Jax wax museum in New Orleans. Open since the 1960s, the museum is set to close for good in February of this year, to make way for luxury lofts…

This wax is supposedly very accurate, and going by other wax works of the museum I believe it is! Since there are no photographs of him, this is all we have along with paintings and drawings of him. And how could I not share how handsome he was, and the pose, as if looking up at the birds.

Birds: The Art of Ornithology

Written by Katharine Pigliacelli, graduate student employee

Birds: The Art of Ornithology by Jonathan Elphick, traces the history of humanity’s fascination with birds through art rather than through science. He takes the reader from engraving to lithography to the modern art of the twenty-first century, all while providing many visual examples. Special Collections owns a very rare complete set of James Audubon’s Birds of America prints, and this book helps to place those important art pieces in their proper historical context.

Example of an illuminated page from Pliny’s Historia Naturalis.

Watercolor of Jackass Penguin (c. 1781-1824) by John Latham

Watercolor of the Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock (1788) by Sarah Stone

Lithograph of the Marvellous Spatuletail (c. 1849-1861) by John Gould

Watercolor of the Rufous-capped Bush-Warbler (c. 1865-75) by William Edwin Brooks

Watercolor of Kakapo (1998) by Angela Gladwell

Audubon’s Golden Eagle, 1833

Berthoud, or Fleming Cemetery located on a large Indian mound on the bank of Bayou Barataria. It is an archaeological, historic, and scenic site of multiple educational, scientific, and recreational value. Tombs and graves are located on the sides and around the base of a large Indian mound approximately 12 feet high and 50 feet in diameter. A gigantic moss hung oak tree grows from the side of the grassy mound. Named after the Berthoud brothers, one of whom was the owner of the Mavis Grove Plantation, for which it probably served as a plantation burial ground. The brothers are buried at the top of the mound. “William Bakewell Berthoud, born 10/17/1820, died 1888; James Berthoud, born 12/18/1818, died 12/13/1890.” They were the sons of Nicholas Berthoud and Eliza Bakewell, sister of Lucy Bakewell Audubon, wife of John James Audubon, the naturalist-artist.