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The Birds of America

Artist: John James Audubon (American, 1785 - 1851)

Engraver: Robert Havell Jr. (American, 1793 - 1878)

Date: 1827-1838
Medium: etching and aquatint on paper, hand-colored; bound brown half-calf spines and corners some gilding, front and back paper geometric design
Dimensions:
Double elephant: 38 1/4 x 25 1/2 inches (97.2 x 64.8 cm)
Classification: Information Artifacts
Credit Line: Partial Bequest of H.J. Lutcher Stark, 1965 and Partial Gift of Nelda C. Stark, 1973
Object number: 11.1.2.B
: 1965.1.14.B.
DescriptionThis five volume set is bound in systematic order and contains 448 plates including thirteen composite plates. There are pencil notations throughout all five volumes. This volume, volume II, contains 91 plates including five composite plates.
Label Text:The Stark Museum of Art’s set of The Birds of America is unique. It is bound in five volumes rather than the usual four; it has the birds arranged systematically (rather than as issued); and it contains thirteen additional composite plates, of which scholars believe only six sets were printed. This set belonged to the artist.
Provenance: Artist; by inheritance to his son John Woodhouse Audubon [1812-1862]; purchased December 7, 1861 by John Taylor Johnston [1]; by inheritance to his son John Herbert Johnston as of 1893; by inheritance to his grandson William W. Appleton [1915-2014]; as of November 26, 1939 (Harry A. Levinson, The Chaucer Head Book Shop, New York) [2]; purchased 1939 by Cornelius D. Ehret, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; purchased April 29, 1954 through (Nada Kramar, Washington, D.C.) by H.J. Lutcher Stark [1887-1965]; ½ interest bequeathed September 2, 1965 to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation [3]; remaining ½ interest gifted February 1, 1973 to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation by Nelda C. Stark [1909-1999]; accessioned to the Stark Museum of Art | 1. See letter and bill of sale from John Woodhouse Audubon to John Taylor Johnston (object number 11.2.105.A-C) | 2. The New York Times Book Review, "Notes on Rare Books," November 26, 1939. | 3. Owned jointly by H.J. Lutcher Stark and Nelda C. Stark until his death at which point his ½ interest was bequeathed to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.
Exhibitions:
  • Drawn to Life: Audubon's Legacy
In Collection(s)