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Birds of a Feather: John Costin and John James Audubon

March 24 - June 24, 2012


John James Audubon and John Costin, while separated by roughly two centuries, both produced spectacular portfolios recording the splendor of American birds. This exhibition at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts pairs images of species featured in Costin's Large Florida Birds project with the corresponding work by Audubon. Costin's portfolio is a recent donation to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts collection from Brent Garback and Linda Tremblay. The Audubon prints are from the 1971 Theatrum, Orbis Terrarum, Amsterdam, reprint of the original Birds of America publication, and are on loan from Kalamazoo College. The portfolio was a gift to Kalamazoo College's A.M. Todd Rare Book Room collection by Mrs. Merrill Taylor. The exhibition was sponsored by the Olin & Muriel Prather Charitable Foundation, Trustee Thomas T. Huff.


(above: John Costin, Anhinga, 1995, hand-colored etching. © John Costin)


(above: John James Audubon, Black-bellied Darter, (Plotus anhinga), 1836, etching reproduced as lithograph 1971)


To view wall panel text from the exhibition please click here

To view object labels from the exhibition please click here

Resource Library readers may also enjoy

From Magazine Antiques "The making of Audubon's The Birds of America" Nov, 2002 by Joseph Goddu

this online video:

John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove disscussed by the Director. (06:34) YouTube says: "John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, Audubon, PA From 1801 to 1806, Mill Grove, Montgomery County, was the first home in America of artist and naturalist John James Audubon. Today, the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove preserves one of the nation's largest collections of Audubon art. An educational center of the National Audubon Society, Mill Grove is dedicated to connecting people with the natural world by interpreting Audubon's legacy and encouraging guests to explore the estate, which remains largely as John found it-a have for birds and wildlife. The Center consists of a 240-year old stone farmhouse and barn, a re-creation of John's bedroom, original art from John's masterworks Birds of North America, 175 acres of rolling woodlands and open meadows, more than 9 miles of walking trails, a bike trail linking the Perkiomen and Schuylkill River Trails to downtown Philadelphia and Fairmount Park just 18 miles by trail and year-round educational programs and special events. Jean Bochnowski, the Center's Director, provides an overview of the history and activities of the Center to PA Environment Digest editor David Hess. Location: 1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA 19403."

and this video:

John James Audubon: The Birds of America is a 29 minute, 1985 National Gallery of Art program directed by Steve York. After bankruptcy in business ventures in the early 19th century, John James Audubon set out on his amazing quest to render the birds of our country. His lifelong dream was realized with the publication of The Birds of America, a magnificent collection of color engravings of his watercolors, and which established Audubon as this nation's preeminent naturalist artist. The video "Traces Audubon's career as a dedicated artist who documented the entire pantheon of American birds and who wrote extensively on nature and the American wilderness. With quotations from his journals and illustrated with his original drawings and engravings, it tells the unique story of Audubon's artistic development and of his uncompromising devotion to his dream of publishing The Birds of America. The works of art are interwoven with live-motion nature photography and footage of sites prominent in Audubon's life and work. with viewer's guide."

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