Spectacular Achievements: Audubon's Animals of North America
Selected Works from the Collection of the Museum of the Southwest
May 25 through October 1, 2006
Opening reception on June 9, in conjunction with 2nd Friday Art Night
Spectacular Achievements: Audubon’s Animals includes 70 original hand-colored lithographs from John James Audubon’s (1785-1851) The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America published between 1845 and 1848 by John T. Bowen of Philadelphia.
In the late 1830s, as the details were being finalized for the completion of his monumental Birds of America project, Audubon began to collect material for an equally impressive study of North American animals. The Quadrupeds proved more difficult than he had anticipated, as many native animals were nocturnal and their habits were hard to learn. He was greatly aided by his two sons, John Woodhouse and Victor, and by his good friend, Dr. John Bachman. The first specimens he collected were shipped to him at his home in New York preserved in barrels of rum. He would later make the journey up the Missouri River in the footsteps of George Catlin, Karl Bodmer and Alfred Jacob Miller to personally document the little-known wildlife of the frontier.
Like his Birds of America, the Quadrupeds are wonderfully animated, expertly executed and beautifully printed in large (22” x 28”) format. According to experts, only 300 complete sets of the 150 images were sold by subscription making the works very rare. The exhibit includes animals such as Ocelot, Jaguar, Lynx, Grizzly Bear, Black Wolf, Wolverine and Columbian Black Tailed Deer.
This exhibit of Audubon prints from the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas, was organized and toured by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services of Kansas City, Missouri.