Friday, May 4, 2012
1) Kiser, Joy M.. America's Other Audubon. 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. Hardbound: 192 pages. Price: $45.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: Nearly everyone is familiar with John James Audubon and his seminal color-plate book, The Birds of America. But few people are aware of another monumental volume of artwork, Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Inspired by viewing Audubon's lithographs at theÊ1876 World's Fair in Philadelphia, twenty-nine-year-old amateur naturalist and artist Genevieve Jones (1847-1879) began working on a companion volume to The Birds of America, illustrating the nests and eggs that Audubon omitted. Her brother collected the nests and eggs, her father paid for the publishing, and Genevieve learned lithography and began illustrating the specimens. When Genevieve died suddenly of typhoid fever, her family labored for seven years to finish the project in her memory. The original book, sold by subscription in twenty-three parts, included Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and Theodore Roosevelt among its subscribers.
Only ninety copies of the original book were published in 1886, and fewer than twenty-five copies now remain in institutions and private hands. Featuring reproductions of all sixty-eight original color lithographs, archival photographs, selected field notes, and a key to the eggs and birds, America's Other Audubon chronicles for the first time the story behind the making of this extraordinary nineteenth century book. America's Other Audubon includes a foreword by Leslie K. Overstreet, curator of Natural-History Rare Books at the Smithsonian Institution.
RECOMMENDATION: The original sells for $45,000 to 48,000 U.S.. A must have for those with an interest in bird art and/or American ornithological history.
Buteo Books here.