Friday, December 28, 2012

Art reflects life.

What would you guess is the most valuable book in the world?  The Gutenberg Bible? You would be wrong, and birders throughout Cleveland weep for you.  

Back in November my daughter and I attended a fabulous program at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH)  in Cleveland, Ohio held by the Kirtland Bird Club.  

CMNH Librarian Wendy Wasman and Dr. Henry Adams of Case Western Reserve discuss the Audubon double-elephant folio.  
The guest speaker, Dr. Henry Adams gave a presentation on Audubon as we were in the presence of a rare- indescribably valuable - Audubon "double-elephant  folio," (think: really big!) We stood breathless as they turned the pages on these life-sized portraits of America's birds.

Dr. Adams explained why Audubon's art, beautiful as it is, represents the best printing and coloring techniques of his age.  These books are so rare because the individual prints are highly sought after as art.

For Christmas I had the good fortune of receiving my own copy of Audubon's prints.  OK, it is a bit smaller than CMNH's.  Daughter J.J. describes this as the "pygmy-hippo" version.  No less beautiful as it adorns my antique library table, I can assure you.

And lookie- the page is turned open to show EVENING GROSBEAK!

Not to be out-done, daughter Shelly also had a very special Christmas present in mind for her mama.

Audubon reproduction prints of Great Blue Heron and Blue Jays. 
We had spotted an old copy of Audubon's Blue Jays in an antique store.  It is now gracing my living room mantle, until I can get it re-framed in a more appropriate and acid free style.  The Wood Duck decoy is my beloved conservation award from the Ohio Ornithological Society.

So as you can see- it is all blue birds of happiness for me this year.  I hope you enjoyed your family and holiday time as much as I have enjoyed mine.  Good birding (and booking) my friends!


  1. Now you have birds surrounding you inside and outside!

  2. Hey Kelly- I have your lovely tern picture in my office!

    And yes, Woodandfield- the next best thing to real birds are birds-as-art.

    Thanks for the comments- Cheryl