Birding by the Book

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, naturalists, artists, and ornithologists spent years in the forests and fields of North America documenting bird species. They observed and sketched, often investing ten or more years to gather the information and drawings needed to complete a project. Their work paved the way for modern advancements aiding bird identification – including binoculars and spotting scopes for close observation as well as more complete and inclusive field guides.
Birding by the Book comprises illustrated bound volumes along with framed, hand-colored engravings by early explorers, artists, and naturalists, including Alexander Wilson, John James Audubon, and John and Elizabeth Gould.

Exhibition Highlights

John James Audubon, Black-throated Diver, 1836, hand-colored aquatint on J. Whatman paper
Mark Catesby, Swallow Tail’d Hawk, ca. 1731, hand-colored etching on paper
John Gould and Elizabeth Gould, Willow Ptarmigan, 1832-37, hand-colored lithograph on paper
John Gould, Reeve’s Pheasant, 1850-53, hand-colored lithograph on paper
Alexander Wilson, Cedar Bird, ca. 1805, watercolor and pencil on paper

Thanks to the members, donors, grantors, and sponsors who support exhibitions and programs.
Exhibitions and programs are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Marketing is supported in part by City of Wausau Room Tax funds.

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