Audubon kick-off event

   Posted by: rring   in Uncategorized

We were very pleased indeed to welcome Dr. Christoph Irmscher, a member of the English faculty at Indiana University, to tell us “how to read Audubon” on November 3rd.  Christoph recently edited the Library of America volume on Audubon’s writings, and has been working on Audubon for over 13 years, amid several other topics.  His faculty profile is here:


We held an informal “review” of the three other volumes in the Reading Room of the Watkinson between 4:00 and 5:00pm, and examined several plates while Christoph explained aspects of production and gave a rich overview of Audubon which was part biography, part literary criticism, and part art history.

Also on display were the seldom mentioned “text” volumes of the set (five volumes of “ornithological biography”–Audubon’s commentary on each bird), as well as three plates recently acquired that were used in the engraver’s shop as examples for the colorists.

The event was the official opening of our new, permanent display of our copy (owned by the engraver, Robert Havell, Jr.) of the famous Birds of America set, as well as a celebration of our recent acquisition of the American Flamingo, to replace the one stolen from the set 35 years ago by a professional thief.

It is always a pleasure to learn more about our own books, not only from specialists like Christoph, but from our own readers and students–some of whom you will find on our other blog, I Found It at the Watkinson.

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