Lecture 5/1 and Exhibition 5/2-4 on Bird Art - Audubon's Royal Octavo

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Public Lecture: Bird Art: Audubon’s Royal Octavo and the Democratization of Natural History

Wednesday, May 1, 7:00-8:30pm

Cunningham Park Hall, 75 Edgehill Road, Milton, MA, 02186

Description: Drawing from the Wakefield Estate’s own octavo edition of Audubon’s work, Audubon re-searcher Jess Clay will discuss the creation and distribution of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, and its subsequent impact on the United States and 19th-century natural history. The lecture complements and builds upon the exhibition of the collection, a set of hand-colored litho-graphs from the 1840s, which will be held at the Wakefield Estate, 1465 Brush Hill Road in Mil-ton, May 2-4, 11am-3pm daily. By understanding Audubon’s life and artistic process alongside the personal underpinnings and political implications of the octavo edition, a new conception of the artist and his world emerges – one in which the man comes of age alongside his nation, and sets in motion a host of historical events and movements to come.

A graduate of Harvard College, Mr. Clay’s interest in John James Audubon and ornithology has taken him from rare book libraries to the Costa Rican rain forest. During a fellowship at Har-vard’s Houghton Library, he conducted extensive research into the life and works of Audubon. His work at Houghton centered around Audubon’s literary and artistic engagements with Ro-manticism, and included the curation of a public exhibition, “Sublime and Manifest: The Ameri-can Romanticism of John James Audubon.” In his senior thesis, Words of America: John James Audubon and the American Exceptionalism of Ornithological Biography, Mr. Clay explored Audubon’s oeuvre as a nationalist performance and as an early work of American artistic excep-tionalism. Born and raised in Texas, Mr. Clay currently resides in Boston."

Exhibition: Bird Art: Audubon’s Royal Octavo

The Wakefield Estate, 1465 Brush Hill Rd, Milton

Thursday, May 2 - Saturday, May 4; 11am-3pm daily - $5 suggested donation

Copyright © 2019 Mary M.B. Wakefield Charitable Trust. All Rights Reserved.
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