Film screening and sculpture walk in honor of John James Audubon's birthday.
Sculpture walk to celebrate John James Audubon birthday
Today is the birthday of famed naturalist and painter, John James Audubon, born on April 26, 1785. To celebrate his 228th birthday, the documentary film The Lost Bird Project will be screened on Saturday, April 27th at 11am at the Carey Center for Global Good in Rensselaerville, New York. Following the screening, the subject of the film, artist Todd McGrain, will lead a walk among a temporary exhibit of his five bronze sculptures of extinct North American birds that stand on the Carey Center grounds. (Seating is limited. RSVP here.)
John James Audubon, who arrived on the shores of the East River in New York City from Haiti as a young man, is known for one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. The Birds of America was his expansive effort to document every bird in North America. Upon its completion in 1838, The Birds of America book consisted of 500 species all hand-painted in life-size detail.
During research for his ‘Lost Birds’ sculpture project, artist Todd McGrain was granted access to a rare edition of Audubon’s “double elephant” folio housed in the Cornell University library. Only about 120 editions of the book are known to exist.
A man larger than life, Audubon has been called by American historian Lewis Mumford, “an archetypal American who astonishingly combined in equal measure the virtues of George Washington, Daniel Boone and Benjamin Franklin” and “ the nearest thing American art has had to a founding father.”
John James Audubon is buried in the Trinity Church Cemetery in upper Manhattan.