John James Audubon

John James Audubon, from an engraving in The Life of John James Audubon, the Naturalist(New York, 1869), edited by his wife, Lucy Audubon

Birds of America by
John James Audubon

 originally exhibited November 1985-January 1986
Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina

text by Davy-Jo Stribling Ridge
hypertext by Jason A. Pierce

Introduction | Island 1 | Island 2 | Additional Resources


This exhibit, originally co-sponsored by the McKissick Museum, emphasizes the work that Audubon did in South Carolina and recognizes the role that South Carolina played in helping Audubon complete his ambitious project of drawing all the birds in America in life size. The hypertext exhibit comprises all of the color plates from the original catalogue.

The importance of Audubon's South Carolina connection has never received the recognition it deserves. It is well known that the encouragement of the Rev. John Bachman and the artisitic assitance of maria Martin were major factors in the successful completion of Audubon's project. However, many other South Carolinians gave vital support to the ornithologist by offering him the hospitality of their homes and services. Burd and botanical specimens were collected and preserved for his use in drawing, and observations of various species were recorded and forwarded to him in England to be used in writing the text to accompany the paintings. His South Carolina admirers were so enthusiastic that Audubon did not hesitate to make requent and persistent demands on their time and effort. The fact that the State of South Carolina was the first to place a firm subscription to Birds of America is a tribute to the high intellect and foresight of its citizens. South Carolinians are justified in being proud of such a heritage.

The original exhibit would not have been possible without generous grant support from the South Carolina Committee for the Humanities. Invaluable help for the catalogue's publication was received from the staffs of the New York Historical Society, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, the University of South Carolina Archives, the South Carolinana Library, the South Carolina Newspapers Project, the University of South Carolina Information Services and its director, Kenneth E. Toombs, and the staff of Thomas Cooper Library.


Introduction | Island 1 | Island 2 | Additional Resources

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