Thursday, March 17, 2005

Audubon Prints To Hibernate

The New York Times reports that after April 3, the New-York Historical Society will be packing up the 40 fragile Audubon watercolors that it has been displaying in its exhibition "Audubon's Aviary," lay them in flat cases on archival shelves and protect them from the depredations of daily life and light, by forcing them into hibernation for 10 years.

Source: New-York Historical Society
"Northern Bobwhite and the
Red-Shouldered Hawk," an
1825 watercolor, from
"Audubon's Aviary" at the
New-York Historical Society.

But an Audubonian migration is still going to become an annual ritual because the society's Audubon collection is the largest in the world. Every year another selection of the 435 life-size watercolors prepared for the naturalist's masterwork, "The Birds of America," will emerge briefly from their protective housing and be exposed to public view. Eventually, over the next 11 years the entire flock will have an opportunity to display their early-19th-century wings in early-21st-century air.

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