Audubon’s Birds of America

October 12, 2024 through February 16, 2025

Image: Detail from a print depicting Carolina parakeets (Plate 26) from Birds of America, by John James Audubon. © National Museums Scotland

The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg is thrilled to bring Audubon’s Birds of America to St. Petersburg. Produced by National Museums Scotland, this exhibition celebrates the extraordinary legacy of John James Audubon (1785 –1851). It tells the story of this iconic artist, naturalist, and ornithologist, as well as the evolution of one of the world’s rarest, largest, and possibly most coveted books, The Birds of America. Printed almost two hundred years ago, its epic scale and spectacular life-sized bird illustrations caused a sensation. The exhibition features over 40 of these splendid hand-colored prints, as well as additional illustrations, books, letters, photographs, and ephemera. The majority of these delicate pieces have never been shown in public and have undergone years of conservation treatment in preparation for their inaugural display and tour.

Audubon’s Birds of America brings new interpretations of the creation and significance of this incredible body of work. It explores this work’s historical context with fresh viewpoints and new research and considers why Audubon’s artistic style was so ground-breaking—and how, even today, his artistic vision is both comfortingly traditional and yet edgily modern. The exhibition also illuminates how this remarkable illustrated book influenced the evolution of the natural sciences, its continuing impact today, and what we can learn from Audubon’s incredible legacy.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact our team at (727) 896-2667 extension 231 or development@mfastpete.org.

 

Produced by

National Museums Scotland