Audubon Marries Art and Science at the New York Historical Society

Mar 15, 2013 3:03PM

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.
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Ted Loos writes on wine, art and architecture for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, Vogue and You can follow him on Twitter at @LoosLips.