Audubon Marries Art and Science at the New York Historical Society
By Ted Loos
It’s rare and thrilling when science and art are one. Think of Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings—not only are they beautiful, but they contributed immeasurably to science. Just by looking and drawing, he furthered the world’s knowledge of the human body.
Certainly the work of John James Audubon, the great 19th-century naturalist and artist, is in the same category. Now the New-York Historical Society is beginning a three-year homage to Audubon’s legendary The Birds of America, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its of acquisition of all 474 exquisite watercolors. First up of three shows is “Audubon’s Aviary: Part I of the Complete Flock,” open through 19 May.