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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
Markings: BOUND BY HERING/ 9. NEWMAN So. (stamped verso front endpaper)
Credit Line: Partial Bequest of H.J. Lutcher Stark, 1965 and Partial Gift of Nelda C. Stark, 1973
Object number: 11.1.2.E
Accession Number: 1965.1.14.E
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 V contains 87 plates (no 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
  • Tales and Travels
In Collection(s)